Some people meditate using music or guided meditation (visualisation), chanting or toning, holding crystals or a sacred object, even through walking in nature. Many books are available to guide you through the alternative methods of meditating if you are interested in exploring the options. I outline a guided meditation technique on the Daily Meditation Technique page which many of my students have also found to bring about great benefits for them.
If at all possible, try to sit in a place that is set aside just for your meditation so that it truly becomes your sacred space. If you don’t have much room, it doesn’t matter if it is a chair in the corner of your bedroom. Try to avoid using the place where you peel the potatoes or where people are in and out all the time, like a hallway! It is good if your energies can fill that space and no one else’s.
When you have, hopefully, found your sacred space you might wish to place some special objects there to remind you of its spiritual purpose. This could be a candle, flowers or a crystal, for example. The ritual involved in lighting a candle, putting in fresh flowers, acknowledging a picture of one of the great spiritual leaders, can be very helpful to quieten the mind and prepare you for meditation. It also honours Spirit – or God - if this concept is important to you.
The reason why it is important to be regular and specific in your practice is that your Guides and Helpers in Spirit will become accustomed to you meditating in a particular place at a particular time and will join you there spontaneously. Thus, communication with them will be much quicker and easier and your practice will be much more profound.
It is not necessary to sit cross-legged on the floor, though it is fine to do so if you like this technique. You may find it most effective to sit in an ordinary straight-back chair that is comfortable. Use an armchair if you wish, but ensure it is not so soft that you fall asleep! What is important is to be able to sit up with a reasonably straight (not rigid) spine so that your chakras are aligned. Please avoid lying down to meditate, unless you need to do so for health reasons.
If you can do your meditation at the same time every day, preferably in the morning soon after you have got up. Your mind should be awake but not distracted by work, family or phone calls and so choose a time when you will not be disturbed. If the morning is impossible, then do it at whichever time of day is most suitable for you. For some people the only way is to snatch some time at lunchtime at their desk at work. If that is so, it is not ideal but much better than not doing it at all.
If you find yourself saying, ‘I can’t meditate today because I can’t find the time’, explore this within yourself. If it is a one-off because you were up at 4 am to catch a plane and didn’t get home until midnight the night before it would be understandable not to wish to rise at 6.30 am in order to sit for half an hour. In such circumstances, try and spend five or ten minutes in contemplation instead, perhaps before leaving home, raising your consciousness and connecting to Spirit.
If you are regularly pushed for time, you may wish to ask if you are really committed to your spiritual growth or what is holding you back. Meditation is a fundamental aspect of spiritual development because it is the most important opportunity there is to align with your soul, to connect with Spirit and to create the future using the power of the mind. It can be difficult to get into the routine of regular meditation, but it is most helpful to do so.
To begin with you may feel restless, edgy, filled with trivial thoughts and most unspiritual, but after a while of sitting (and it may be days, weeks or months) you will begin to feel more focused, in control, centred and connected. You will look forward to this time with anticipation and joy, and it will become a highlight of your day.