7 Ways to Deepen Your Meditation Practice

Face it. We’re all neurotic and stressed out to some degree.

That’s the culture we live in right now.

Because of this, it’s incredibly difficult to just sit cross-legged and be “one with the Universe.”

I don’t know about you, but it takes me at least a few minutes before I stop thinking about something a kid said to me back in middle school. That’s the human mind for ya.

It’s not all chaos and craziness though. There are certain practices that make it easier to drop into deep meditation. I call them “meditation on-ramps.”

These are things you can incorporate into your life that will allow you to go deeper when you actually sit down to meditate.

7 Ways to Deepen Your Meditation Practice

1. Breathing Exercises

Any kind of breathing practices beautifully set the stage for meditation. Deep, conscious breathing causes your thoughts to settle and your body to relax, which allows for a peaceful, meditative state.

In the yogic tradition, breathwork is called Pranayama. There are many, many breathing exercises to do and all are fun to experiment with.

I personally do some deep breathing before every meditation session I do. I take about 7-10 long, deep breaths, then release into meditation. This helps clear my mind and relax my body.

Try it right now: Take 3 deep breaths into your belly, let go of the stress you’re holding and feel the changes in your state of being.

2. Nature

This one is obvious, yet few people use nature as medication. A quiet, peaceful place in nature works wonders for stress and the chaotic assault of daily life.

Spending some time in nature brings peace and balance to your being. If you take some time out in nature before or while you meditate, you will find that it greatly enhances meditation.

3. Intentional Movement

Consciously moving your body and releasing tension will definitely deepen your meditation practice. This includes yoga, stretching and walking outside.

Engaging in intentional movement before meditating allows you to relax that much more deeply. There’s a reason why they do savasana at the end of yoga classes.

4. Daily Practice

We’re creatures of habit. This can be leveraged to our advantage, if done consciously.

Meditating every day (especially the same time every day) helps you get “in the zone” more reliably. It builds meditation momentum, if you will. When you meditate every morning, your mind will be conditioned to let go during this time.

5. Meditating in the Morning

It’s really effective to meditate in the morning for several reasons:

  • The state between sleeping and waking is highly conducive to meditation
  • Your mind is clear first thing in the morning
  • Allows you to ease into your day
  • It gives you positive momentum to start your day
  • Makes you more peaceful, focused and mindful throughout the rest of the day
  • 6. Being Healthy In General

    Being healthy makes everything easier and more effective. Eat real food, walk outside, exercise, stretch, drink water, spend time in nature, watch less tv, consume less sugar, breath deeply, dance, express yourself, feel gratitude…etc. These are all simple practices, but they need to be practiced daily for optimal health.

    Your brain works better, your mood is more stable, you have less aches and pains, more energy and everything becomes optimized. Basically, when you’re unhealthy, you have more distractions in the way of your own inner peace.

    7. Prioritizing Your Well-Being

    If you make something a priority, you get it done by any means necessary. If you don’t make something a priority, you’ll find any excuse NOT to do it.

    Prioritize your well-being. Prioritize your peace of mind. Prioritize meditation. Once that intention is there, nothing will stop you.

    How to Actually Meditate Every Day

    Don’t know where to start?

    Meditation doesn’t have to be difficult or overwhelming. You don’t have to meditate for hours a day to start seeing the benefits of meditation in your life.

    There’s a ridiculously EASY way to meditate every day. And it’s literally easier than getting out of bed in the morning.

    You don’t have to be an om-chanting yogi or a kale-munching vegan to meditate. Meditation is for anyone, anywhere.

    Want to learn how to meditate every morning? (and do it effortlessly, without it seeming like another thing on your to-do list)

    Join the 7 Day Meditation Challenge. It’s the easiest way to start meditating. Even if you already meditate, it will help you stick to a daily routine as well as give you tips to deepen your practice.

    CLICK HERE TO START THE 7 DAY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

    Find bliss within and share it.

    One love.

    – Stevie P!

    meditation

    The Simple Secret to a Fully Fulfilling Life

    mindfulness

    We’ve all had those truly special moments in life: being on top of a mountain looking out at an amazing landscape, at a party singing with a group of our best friends, a wedding day, getting off of the plane in a new country…etc.

    Those are all beautiful moments in which we forget about our fears, leave our problems behind and bask in the blissful infinity of the present moment. We all chase this feeling throughout our lives. We fall into the trap of thinking “I’ll be so happy when [insert desire] happens.” Some of us even squander our present well-being for the mere potential of “that feeling” in the future.

    What if I told you that this feeling is available to you in every moment?

    I’m all for those cliché amazing moments listed above, but why can’t every moment be amazing in its own way?

    Well, every moment is. Each moment is brimming with bliss, peace, joy, love and happiness. We just never stop to see it. The secret portal is right under our noses and it exists within one simple word: Mindfulness

    Most people are so lost in thought that they hardly ever actually experience the present moment in its full brilliance.

    When we live with mindfulness, even the simplest moments are infused with that feeling of blissful presence that most people only experience a handful of times in their lives. It’s like living life in high definition, a much richer experience than just going through the motions while neurotically thinking about everything other than what we’re doing right now.

    Mindfulness is like a happy drug. It’s a happy drug that comes from within us, is inexhaustible, always available and has no adverse side effects. Who wouldn’t want that?

    The great irony of humanity’s plight is that we search everywhere except for within ourselves for that sense of fulfillment. The truth is that what we’ve been searching for has been within us all along.

    Happiness, joy, bliss, peace and love are not waiting at the end of some illusory rainbow. Those feelings we deeply crave don’t reside in the future when this or that will happen. They’re always with us in every moment, if only we’d pause, dip into the present moment and look within.

    That feeling we’ve been searching for is right here, within us. It always has been. It always will be. All we have to do is be fully present.

    mind full or mindful

    6 Ways to Cultivate Mindfulness

    1. Meditation – Engage in some kind of meditation practice on a daily basis. If you’re a beginner, try my 7 Day Meditation Challenge. Meditation naturally begets mindfulness. The benefits of meditation are seemingly endless and well-documented, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to have some kind of regular meditation practice.

    2. Practice Mindful Eating – When you eat, just eat. Don’t watch tv, don’t look at your phone, don’t walk, don’t drive. Just eat. Focus on the taste of the food, the subtle textures and smells. When you do this, you’ll enjoy food like you never have before.

    Also, mindful eating builds awareness regarding what you eat, helps you listen to your body and helps in overcoming unhealthy eating habits. You can even create a practice of blessing your food before you eat to create more mindfulness around eating.

    3. Try Phone Fasting – Smartphones can be weapons of mass distraction. Everyone knows that the constant notifications, social media scrolling and email checking makes focus almost impossible and sucks you right out of the present moment.

    Here’s a solution: Make a practice of taking some time to not use your phone. I personally don’t look at my phone for an hour before I go to sleep and an hour after I wake up every day. At night, this creates time to unwind, undistracted. In the morning, this creates time for me to engage in a morning routine and start the day off peaceful and centered, instead of instantly leaping into the fray of distraction. Another strategy is to not use your phone for a day (you can take a day off once a month or even once a week). Both of these practices are surprisingly freeing and cultivate focus, empowerment and mindfulness.

    Phone fasting creates a pattern interrupt. It allows you to become more aware of your phone usage and helps you transcend the habit of mindlessly looking at your phone.

    4. Practice Mindfulness in Everyday Situations – Practice being completely present in conversations, while walking outside, while listening to music, while drinking coffee or during any other day-to-day activities. So many of us live life on auto-pilot. A bit of mindfulness makes life more vibrant and exciting, as if you were a kid again.

    5. Practice the Five Sense Walking Meditation

    6. Read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

    Try out all of these and make mindfulness a part of your daily life. Like everything, mindfulness is a muscle. The more consistently you practice it, the stronger it becomes.

    Meet each moment with blissful totality.

    – Stevie P
     

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    Lay On The Floor (My Stupid Simple Meditation Technique)

    We all know this feeling…

    When your brain is done thinking. When your body doesn’t want to move. When you have the motivation of a stoned sloth. And the word “nothing” sounds more appealing than a magic carpet ride.

    You know what I do when that feeling strikes? When I just don’t feel like doing ANYTHING?

    Well… I give in. I lay on the floor. That’s it.

    Now you’re probably like…

    Lay on the floor

    Yes I am

    A lot of people think that meditation has to be some long procedure requiring tons of patience and practice… I think it’s as simple as laying on the floor.

    This stupid simple technique clears the mind, re-energizes the body, and acts as a self-reset… Leaving you feelin’ good, feelin’ great again in a matter of minutes.

    I usually find myself doing this after I get home from a long day of work. That’s usually when I get that I-don’t-wanna-do-annnything-right-now feeling.

    So here’s exactly what I do:

    1. Lay on the floor (bet you didn’t guess that one, huh?) with you arms to your sides.

    2. Close your eyes.

    3. Breathe deeply and focus on your breath. (Breathe into your belly. None of that weak, shallow-breath stuff.)

    4. Let your thoughts pass. Just witness your thoughts pop up, and let them go. You’re the sky, your thoughts are clouds passing by.

    5. Feel the energy in every part of your body. Feel the electric tingle, the vibration moving through you. It’s such a revitalizing feeling. I like to move my awareness from the tips of my toes and up to the top of my head. But you can do whatever floats your boat here.

    6. At some point, you’ll feel like getting up. So get up, and I guarantee you’ll feel better than you did before you laid down.

    I usually do this for around 5 minutes until I feel like getting up. And when I get up, I feel like I hit the reset button on my entire being. Then I do something like workout, cook, write, read, or go out somewhere. The lay on the floor technique really gets you in that “ready for whatever” mode.

    Try it out sometime. It works like a charm.

    And leave any experiences with this technique, questions, comments…etc in the comments section below.

    Stay feelin’ good, feelin’ great.

    -Stevie P!

    Why Meditation Is An Indispensable Tool For The Information Age

    Why is meditation so necessary in this age of information saturation?

    Because it’s a break. A break from absorbing. A vacation from the state of mental-overload.

    You temporarily halt the assault of data input through your senses.

    Metaphor #1:
    Think of it like when the star of a basketball team gets a much-needed 2 minute break on the bench. All they need is a little time to catch their breath, then they jump back into the game, giving it their all until the sound of the final buzzer. Without a short break, fatigue would accumulate and his/her performance would suffer. Your mind is the star player, and meditation is the much-needed short break.

    Most of us are constantly absorbing, leaving us with no “break”, let alone an opportunity to create something.

    Metaphor #2:
    Our minds are like a mop. A mop absorbs liquid and cleans a floor. Our minds absorb information and we act on that information. Mops periodically have to be squeegeed before they become over-saturated and lose functionality (turning the floor into a big, dirty puddle). Our minds have to be cleared before they become over-saturated and lose functionality (ie paralysis by analysis, information overload, anxiety, over-thinking…etc). We need to clear our minds regularly in order to maintain optimal functionality.

    Meditation is cleaning the mind clutter.

    Meditation is a break from the constant external bombardment of the information age.

    And this break I’m talking about allows for 4 things:

    1. Inner peace, joy, harmony, love- You know the feeling when it strikes. You just know.

    2. Inspiration– It clears all of the noise (input) and allows inspiration to come through. This is when you can get great ideas. People come up with their best ideas when they’re relaxed and at ease. Meditation is the epitome of that state.

    3. Self-resetting- Meditation is a reset for your entire being. Mind, body, and spirit. It’s a reset button that leaves you feeling refreshed and anew.

    4. Increased focus- When you clear your mind, you allow it to function at its full capacity. The mind doesn’t function well when it’s constantly cluttered, preoccupied, and tired. It’s so much easier to focus on the task at hand when you regularly practice meditation.

    meditation-6

    I came across the following lil gem while writing this:
    “…and if we don’t actively reset ourselves, then we miss out on the joy that is life, and we overlook the astounding beauty that lies in each moment. Life is a gift and a treasure, and the best revenge truly is living well.” -Dylan Charles

    Here’s a quick guide on the basics of meditation. And remember, meditation can come in various forms. Whenever you’re in a state of no-thought, just simply being, that’s meditation.

    Break and create!

    Once you “free your mind” you’ll get all kinds of inspiration out of nowhere. So much that you’ll feel an insatiable urge to create. And what you create will be completely up to you.

    Relax your mind. Be a creator.

    Stay feelin’ good, feelin’ great.

    -Stevie P