How to start a meditation Practice, part 1: WHY

Raphael Reiter
July 16, 2023

Starting a meditation practice, is like starting any other part of your routine or starting any other habit.

Sure, one session of meditation can feel really good. After your first session you can feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and you can have a clearer mind. This happens to some of my students, when we do a meditation for the first time. But for meditation to really have a positive impact in your life on the long run, you need to start a daily practice. This might seem daunting for some, although it is mind boggling that we are often more inclined to train every other aspect of our lives, such as learning new skills, sculpting a more aesthetic body, but don't prioritize our time into training our mind, which is what meditation essentially does.

And so, in order to create a daily meditation practice, it is really important to take inventory, and to figure out why you want to meditate daily. It is always a really good starting point, to notice where you are in your life right now, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, physically as well, before we even start thinking about what we can do about it.

And so this is the first step. Notice where you are. Disengage your ego while doing so, either with your eyes closed or with a piece of paper in hand. Where are you right now? Only then, can you start figuring out where it is you want to go. What's your destination? What journey do you want, or rather, in most cases, need to take?

This will be your starting point. Can meditate take you where you want to go? I have yet to see a single place where the answer would be no. Meditation is not some weird thing hippies practice in the woods, or monks on tops of mountains. Meditation is a simple way to train your mind. Your mind controls everything within and around you. It controls your body, your emotions, your reactions to events, positive and challenging. Meditation helps us with our immune system, our creativity, our ability to solve problems. It helps us sleep and recuperate better. It literally changes the expression of our genes, and this has be proven scientifically by Herbert Benson. Because we can trigger the epigenetic phenomenon, and that within a matter of weeks of starting daily meditation for as little as 15-20 minutes per day.

There are many other aspects to why it is important for you to meditate. Forget important, why it is essential for you to start a regular meditation practice.

Another great reason, is that meditation allows you to connect to something bigger than ourselves. Of course, there is a spiritual approach to meditation, but not only that. For me personally, meditation helps me reconnect to nature, and by nature I don't only mean trees and fishes, but the way the world is. Nature, the universe, God, however you want to call that perfection, that ecosystem that is all around us, and to which we are indissociable from. By practicing meditation, you train your mind and your soul, your heart, to express that divinity that is there, right now, even if you have not found it yet, within yourself.

Meditation needs to be practiced regularly, preferably every day at the same time. I don't consider this as a chore though, but really as a gift. A gift I give every day, often more than once, to myself. But also, it is an altruistic gift, because it helps me become a better human being, which in turn, I can put in service to the people that I love, and more broadly (thank you internet) to the world!

The last piece of advice I can give you for today, is to commit yourself 100% to this new practice. There is nothing worst than the small doubt that comes from committing yourself 99%. That 1% is worst than if you would not be committed at all. Like every good habit you want to install in your daily life, you need to start by committing to have consistency in your practice. Keep the momentum. It becomes so much easier when you make the clear decision: I will meditate every single morning, no matter what. A meditation doesn't need to be 6 hours long. If 10 minutes is all you have, then take those 10 minutes. If you don't have 10 minutes to meditate everyday, then my advice is to meditate for 30 minutes everyday. Then, all will become clearer.

Committing to your meditation practice, is double good, because not only you get the benefits from the meditation, you get the benefits knowing that you can trust yourself to show up every day for yourself. You build strength, you build confidence. Confidence means to trust intensely. You start trusting yourself intensely, knowing that no matter what, you are there for yourself, and you have the tools to make your life better.

Don't be a hero of 1 day. You know what I mean. That person that gets a gym membership on the 1st of January, and by February completely forgot that he even has a gym card.

I can see it in my youtube analytics. Every Monday, I get a spike in my views. On average, I have 250% more views on Monday than on Friday. Sundays get a little bit better because I do the live workshops. Every single Monday, the same spike, that goes gradually down. How do you avoid this? Start simple. Start little. Don't commit to do really fancy hardcore meditations that last 90 minutes every morning at 3. Start with 1 minute. 1 breath. Then 2. You'll gain momentum and keep going.

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