Meditation can take many forms. Even if the idea of sitting down to meditate for twenty minutes every morning doesn’t appeal to you, you can learn to find meditative moments in the mundane, and generally build in moments of mindfulness throughout your day for greater energy, focus, and calm.
Ever since we first started interviewing people about their morning routines way back in 2012, we have asked our participants if they have a morning meditation routine. While they haven’t always answered in the affirmative, at our last count a full 64% of the people we have interviewed across both our website and our upcoming book meditate in the morning. What do they know that you don’t? Read on for our three quick tips on how to start a morning meditation routine:
Experiment with Different Types of Meditation
Meditation can include everything from heaving yourself into the lotus position (often against your best judgment) at a weekend retreat, to waiting patiently while your teakettle boils, to playing with your kids in the morning.
When you’re starting out with a brand new morning meditation routine it’s important to experiment with the different types of meditation available to us (including guided, mindfulness, Zen (zazen), and transcendental). One type may speak to you more than others, and that’s perfectly fine. But don’t forget, whichever type (or types) of meditation you eventually decide to stick with, you can always try any one type over again weeks, months, or even years down the line to see if you relate to it more then.
Find Meditative Moments in the Mundane
If you’re not yet ready to call a full meditation practice your own, start looking for meditative moments during otherwise mundane events. Author and behavioral investigator Vanessa Van Edwards told us that she hand grinds her tea leaves in the morning and waits while they steep. “This is the closest thing to meditation that I do. The manual process of clipping, crushing, and steeping the leaves wakes up all of my senses.”
Finding meditative moments in the mundane can mean anything from taking a few moments of calm while you make your breakfast in the morning, to simply having a higher sense of awareness as you go about your day. The key in this practice is to be completely present in any given moment without juggling a mass of other things at the same time.
Don’t Take Your Practice Too Seriously
This is the most important tip to remember when you start out with a brand new meditation routine. You don’t have to be perfect right off the bat. Like all news skills, a disciplined practice will build with time, but you can’t force it.
Yoga teacher Gracy Obuchowicz notes: “I’ve studied a few kinds of meditation but none of them too seriously. Mostly, I just sit and notice and feel. I do alternate nostril breathing. My mind wanders and I bring it back. My practice isn’t fancy but [it] seems to do the trick of keeping me centered.” Thoughts will come and go during your meditation sessions, and that’s okay. As the president of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, Ed Catmull, told us for our upcoming book regarding his own meditation practice: “Even though I am focusing on the breath, an idea will sometimes just pop up that’s worth keeping. If I hang onto it, it messes up my meditation. So I just jot it down and let it go.”
For more tips from us, and our interviewees, on how to start a morning meditation routine, and for a detailed breakdown of the most popular forms of meditation among our interviewees, pre-order My Morning Routine (Portfolio/Penguin) today!