A daily practice is an excellent tool to create mindfulness. Mindfulness allows us to become 3rd parties, or observers, to our actions, thoughts, and emotions. A daily practice allows us to create a space to not only cultivate mindfulness but to remind us to carry it throughout the day.
Start small. We suggest starting with 20 minutes, but you can start smaller if you’re not comfortable with sitting that long.
Experiment with the best times to meditate. Try and meditate when you feel comfortable to. If it’s first thing in the morning, you may want to go to bed earlier.
Set an alarm. If it’s difficult for you to find time during the day to meditate, set an alarm at your “prime time,” and allow yourself to sit. Make sure this alarm is set daily.
Create a space. It’s difficult to meditate anywhere and everywhere (especially at first!). You may choose to light a candle or incense to set a tone. You can create a “sacred” place to meditate, but it isn’t required.
Expand your time. After a few months, shift to 30 minutes a day. At roughly six months (if not before), it’s suggested you shift to a 45 minute sitting practice. However, it’s not required that everyday you must meditate 45 minutes after 6 months. Try for a calming 20 minutes if that’s all the time you have.
After a daily practice for however many months, you can extend your practice in many ways.
Maintain a journal. One of the most useful tools a practitioner has, a meditation journal allows you to note down insights and experiences that may occur during a session; it also allows you to look back and see how much you grow!
Work with the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. While the Four Foundations of Mindfulness are a very extensive teaching, work with them in sequential order: Contemplation of the Body, Contemplation of Sensation, Contemplation of the Mind, and Contemplation of Phenomena.
Attend Classes. Rocky Mountain Insight offers many classes on various topics: insight meditation, the four divine abidings, and other important teachings. Attending these classes furthers your experience and your practice.