Preparing to meditate is easy. Just follow the meditation tips laid out in this article and you'll be well on your way to a much deeper experience of meditation!
To be fair, I should mention that it is not absolutely critical that you prepare to meditate with any specific routine. The recommendations in this article are just that - recommendations. They are not rules. You could be sitting on a bus right now and you could start meditating immediately if you really wanted to. However, if you have a little time to spare, and you'd really like to meditate as deeply as possible, then the advice in this article may prove invaluable.
1. Firstly, avoid eating for an hour before you meditate. If you must eat, then make sure it’s a light meal. If you eat a large meal before meditation you may end up feeling groggy. It will also be more difficult for you to sit comfortably and without distraction.
2. You may also wish to shower or bathe before you meditate. Again, this is not essential, but the act of washing yourself is very symbolic cleansing ritual that will leave you feeling fresh and clean. This can have a positive effect on your mood and your mindset as you prepare to meditate. And let’s not forget the fact that bathing is also quite relaxing. A nice hot bath will soak away muscular tension, leaving you soothed and mentally relaxed.
3. Be comfortable. Dress yourself in some loose fitting comfortable clothes and make sure that the space in which you meditate is warm enough.
There are a few more things you can to when preparing to meditate, and they all involve relaxation techniques. If you would like to meditate as deeply as possible then it is important to calm yourself down and prepare your mind and body for meditation beforehand. If your approach to meditation is “unceremonious”, that is to say, if you just plonk yourself down in a chair and start meditating, you could be missing out on a deeper overall experience.
4. Taking some simple “time out” before you meditate. Wind down with a relaxing activity that you enjoy that doesn’t require too much mental exertion. Read a book. Do a jigsaw puzzle. Go for a walk. Listen to some meditation music. If you live a busy life, then one of the best ways for you to prepare for meditation is to give yourself some time to wind down at a natural pace.
5. Don’t underestimate the value of some physical activity when it comes to meditation. Stress is not a purely psychological phenomenon...it builds up in the muscles and the organs of your body. It affects your whole nervous system. When you exercise, you oxygenate your body, you stretch your muscles and you stimulate the flow of blood and nutrients throughout your entire body. Any physical activity that relieves stress and encourages health will help you to meditate more deeply. Just remember that if you exercise with great rigour then you will need some time to wind down again before you meditate.
6. Yoga. OK. So I could have talked about yoga in the paragraph above, but yoga really does deserve a special mention here. Yoga gently stretches all the muscles and joints of the body, and it usually includes plenty of deep breathing exercises. In a way, yoga is a form of “moving meditation”. It harmonizes all the energies of your body and mind. It is utterly relaxing, and in many respect it is the ultimate way to prepare for meditation. If you have never tried yoga before then you are in for a treat. Don’t worry, you do NOT need to be super flexible to try yoga. Yoga works for everyone, including absolute beginners.
7. Before you meditate, take some time to do some slow, deep breathing. When I say “slow and deep”, I really mean it! Take 5 to 10 very slow deep breaths that completely fill your lungs and abdomen. Release each breath at a natural pace and feel yourself becoming more and more relaxed.
8. A great way to prepare to meditate is to create a relaxing atmosphere in the place where you intend to meditate. Light a candle or three. Burn a little incense. Play some meditation music. Dim the lights. Goodness...I’m starting to feel relaxed just writing about it! If you’d like more information about creating a sanctuary for meditation, feel free to visit this page on designing a meditation room.
To sum up, preparing to meditate should be a relaxing, simple process that is enjoyable for you. Any activity (or inactivity) that helps to clear your mind and sooth your physical body will go a long way to helping you experience a deep, blissful meditation.