How to start a meditation practice

Most people like the idea of meditating everyday, but struggle to build a daily practice. Why can so few of us meditate for just 10 minutes a day?

The problem lies with how that statement is framed – specifically the “just 10 minutes a daypart. Doing most things for 10 minutes a day is easy – listening to music, reading an article, surfing on the web and so on. But meditating for 10 minutes is hard.

Starting your weight training by hauling 50 Kg off the ground will lead to an injury and keep you out of the gym for good.  The idea of sitting down with one’s eyes closed for 10 minutes seems easy, unlike lifting large weights off the ground. But in reality, it is just as hard to do on a sustained basis. And when we fail, we give up by telling ourselves that meditation isn’t for us.

So here is an alternative. Start with the smallest amount of time that you can meditate for every single day. It could be as low as one minute or 30 seconds. If you have closed your eyes for that period, you have hit that day’s target. Anything above that is a bonus. In a couple of weeks, you could consider making your daily goal longer.

Cultivating a meditation practice is harder than the world leads us to believe. But like building muscle, the idea is to start small and work our way upwards.

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