We want to learn to meditate. When we get serious about it, we will want to improve. When someone asks me for tips about making progress, I always answer the same. The most important thing is consistency.
The best way to make progress is to be regular with your meditation sessions. At first, we should aim to meditate once each day.
Every day, that is.
Daily practice is so important. We can adjust the duration of the meditation session to suit our personal needs. But do it every day.
How much time we have available and how much energy we have for the practice will vary person to person. So ask yourself the question, “What is not too much and not too little meditation for me to do each day?”
For some the answer to that question might be a few minutes. For others it could be 20 minutes, half an hour, or an hour. Remember, the time should be a period that you can do daily. Whatever the duration is for you, that is a start.
In time you may find that you prefer to do more each day. You may then want to meditate twice each day, say morning and evening. But whatever you elect, be consistent with that discipline. There is no need to force things, or try too hard, nor do too much. Keep things balanced and allow it to build. Your meditations will be enjoyable and something to look forward to each day.
How will I learn to meditate?
I conduct classes for those wanting to learn to meditate, in Melbourne, on Tuesdays. The classes aim to cover all the background that you will need to maintain a daily practice. I will give you a guided meditation during each session. You will learn all you need to continue on by yourself. Each week we discuss progress. We examine why we use a particular meditation and what results you can expect from it.
What are the steps in learning about meditation?
To begin, we need to stabilise our mind by developing a capacity to focus with clarity. We increase our awareness and mindfulness. These mental factors go hand-in-hand with any meditation practice. Our mind finds its innate stillness and rests there in vivid awareness.
Through consistent practice we can direct our attention with focus. There is no interruption by other thoughts. All distractions subside during a meditation session.
With this foundation we then develop analytical meditation. This insight meditation enables us to explore our inner world. We come to know our thoughts, feeling, emotions and intuitions and where they take us. We learn of our strengths and weaknesses. Further meditation techniques help enhance our strengths. We can lessen the impact of our weaknesses.
It takes some time to develop our meditation to a high level. But you will notice improvements and benefits week by week. After a time your progress will surprise you.
Establishing the habit of consistent practice is a wonderful foundation for continued development. It will enable you to improve your state of mind and how you understand yourself and your place in the world.
Once you begin on Tuesday evenings, the classes will give more material each week. There is plenty to learn as you find answers to the questions that matter.