You’ve heard about the benefits of meditation, but never been able to put together the pieces. Your friends who meditate seem like they have achieved true mindfulness, you know because they tell you every day. I understand. I’ve been there.
I used to be a meditation beginner, unable to find enough inner peace to impress a peanut. I would sit quietly with my legs crossed and eyes closed for hours, yet still not achieve anything. Now my shit is so focused that strangers on the street know before I tell them: this guy is a meditation master.
By now you’ve tried all the normal advice. Sit still, focus on a ball of light, clear you mind, etc. None of that worked for me either. It’s too boring, and doesn’t promote actual inner growth. To achieve lasting meditation success you need to change the game.
These ten points are what helped me start down the path of true mindfulness. They won’t make you a meditation master (like myself), but they will give you the tools to dig deeper.
- Open your eyes. A lot of people say you should meditate with your eyes closed, but that can be risky – you could fall asleep. I recommend keeping your eyes open to fully soak in your environment.
- Turn the TV on. That’s right, as a distraction at low volume it television is the perfect tool to distract your mind. If having the sound at low volume bothers you, turn it up more so you can hear.
- Bring a snack. Meditation is all about self fulfillment, and how can you do that if you have not fulfilled your base desires? I often bring chips, or a snickers bar to meditation sessions. Snickers, the official fuel of meditation practitioners everywhere.
- Bring a drink. In order to reach fulfillment and focus on the true inner self you must satisfy the outer self. A great way to do this is to bring a drink. Coke is an excellent choice, as it has sugar and caffeine to keep you alert through your session. If find yourself too alert, try something stronger, like vodka. Alcohol is an all natural liquid supplement for soothing nerves and relaxing the mind.
- Lay on your back. A lot of advice says to sit straight up, or sit on a cushion. How can you truly banish desire if you are uncomfortable? I have found that laying flat on a couch, or half way up in a recliner, is the optimal position for meditating.
- Bring Friends. A lot of people say that meditation is strictly a solo enterprise. In upper level meditation competitions this is true, but when you are starting out it can be good to have friends to help you along. Meditation is boring, and a good friend will help you push through the boredom.
- Distract your ears. Instead of silence, gentle music or small talk with friends is a good way to make yourself more comfortable. Having a friend tell you about their day is the perfect way to guide yourself to inner peace.
- Try a cigarette. Nicotine has the unique property of being both a stimulant and a depressant. This is perfect for an activity like meditation where you are expected to both be relaxed physically and alert mentally. I will often have four or five during the course of a fifteen minute session.
- Distract your mouth. To achieve true inner focus you must distract your mouth. Chewing gum is one option (I recommend nicotine gum). Even better is light conversation with friends. Serious, in depth, conversation is also okay. If you are meditating alone try turning the TV on and repeating everything the characters say.
- Order a pizza. Lets face it, meditation is exhausting. An extra deep dish pizza with loads of melty cheese baked into the crust is the only way to satisfy the hunger that comes from achieving inner peace. And what better way to reward your friends for helping you? Like dogs they will be grateful for the meal, shoveling the greasy slabs of bread and cheese into their mouths as though eating for the last time. They will revel in the feast, yet ironically their pathetic empty lives will be that much worse for it.