Developing a Habit of Meditation

I had a funny experience has helped me in my work as a meditation teacher. My chiropractor gave me an exercise to relieve some neck pain. I was to hold a certain position for about 3 seconds, and repeat this two or three times. The total time required for the exercise was 20 seconds.

The week he taught me the exercise was especially busy – I was on the go all week. When I went to see him again the following week and he asked how I did with the exercise, I’m embarrassed to admit that I said: “I didn’t have time.”

Who does not have 20 seconds to spare! But I thought about that answer afterwards, and it helped me understand something about teaching meditation.

What do people say is the biggest obstacle to a daily meditation practice? Usually they say they don’t have time. This is one reason that at The Expanding Light we encourage people to begin their practice with just 5 minutes a day, to help them create a daily habit.

The hardest part of your meditation practice is getting yourself to start—pulling yourself away from whatever other activities are calling to you.

My experience with the neck exercises taught me something important: Of course I had time to do them. Even the busiest person can spare 20 seconds to save themselves some pain. Instead, I hadn’t given those exercises a priority in my mind AND I hadn’t given them a slot in my day. If I had said, as I did later, that immediately after my shower I will do my little exercise, it was easy to fit into the day. Once it had a time slot, it became automatic, a habit. If you put enough priority on meditation and assign it a time slot in your day—for even 5 minutes, you will find it easy to keep your practice going.

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