How I Learned to Meditate

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Deciding to meditate¬†is like deciding to “go on a diet.” It will take a tremendous amount of willpower, you’ll probably fall off the wagon, and you’ll likely reach a point when you call it quits. I’ve done a number of 10 day, 30 day, or even 12 week meditation commitments. I’ve made it through with varying success. But, not one of them has turned into a lifelong habit.

So what worked?

For the past 8 years, I’ve made meditation something I explore, read about, and try. I’ve taken short classes and long courses. I’ve tried a number of different forms of meditation, just like I’ve tried a number of different “diets.” It’s taken that long, but I developed a lifestyle of meditation similarly to how I’ve developed a lifestyle of healthy eating. I make little choices every day to get closer to where I want to be. And, just like healthy eating, there are days when I totally toss it out the window. Then there are days when I crave meditation like I crave a piece of grapefruit after Thanksgiving.

If you want to learn to meditate, just start learning. You can try out daily meditation commitments. They work in that they will help you find out what doesn’t work. But, don’t worry too much about whether you meditate every single day starting today. Just start meditating any day you can. Incorporate it into your life in a way that feels natural. Make good choices whenever possible. Eventually, you will find it is just part of who you are.

I’m a hard core meditation pusher. As much as I love yoga, for me it is ultimately¬†a gateway drug to meditation. Of any “resolution” you set this year, making meditation part of your life will be the biggest and most impactful one. It will infiltrate every other part of who you are.