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Begin Your Meditation Journey with these 9 Simple Steps


Every Mayfly Maven retreat, we start the day with a guided meditation.


We sit together in the most picturesque setting, at our stunning locations, and I lead us through a meditation aligned to enhance our learning for the day; for example, "Compassion and Loving Kindness" is a terrific meditation before we go into communications or effective negotiation topics.


The best thing about starting the day this way is that it creates a deeper sense of community and sets us up for a wonderful retreat experience each day.


Many people who join us on retreats have never meditated before or only sporadically when forced to as part of a retreat schedule!


It is one of my greatest joys to introduce new people to meditation.

  • To eliminate the misconceptions that meditation is hard to do

  • To remove the assumption meditation is religious or "woo-woo"

  • To educate them on the benefits of sitting still and silent

  • To teach how meditation can be used to achieve focus, calm or enhance energy

  • To discuss how to integrate the practice into their days to achieve the benefits

Of course, you don't need to attend a retreat to start your meditation practice.


You can start practising independently at home to achieve this same sense of transformation and change in your life.

 

What is Meditation?


Meditation is a practice that involves training the mind and focusing one's attention to achieve a state of mental clarity and inner peace.


Meditation is not about escaping reality or indulging in fantasy. It is not a means to attain supernatural powers or achieve instant enlightenment.


Meditation is a mindfulness-based practice that enables us to be fully present in the moment. It is acknowledging and accepting our thoughts and emotions without judgment.

“Meditation — because some questions can’t be answered by Google.” — Wandering Yogi
Graphic Inner Bliss = Outer Calm
The Mayfly Model states when we achieve Inner Bliss; we exhibit Outer Calm

Meditation is a transformative practice that promotes mental and emotional well-being, cultivates mindfulness, and facilitates personal growth.


By incorporating meditation into our lives, we can experience its profound benefits and embark on a journey of self-discovery and inner peace.

 

Starting Your Journey


Let’s take some of the pressure off your first steps on your meditation journey and remove the two core myths related to meditation.

  1. It is difficult to meditate.

  2. To be successful at meditation, you must reach enlightenment

That’s simply not true.


  1. Meditation is taking time to sit still and in silence. Thats it. If you do this, you are meditating. Meditation is not some magic tool that works after one session; the benefits come from consistently taking time to sit there with yourself, through good or bad or overthinking. If you can do that, over time, you will learn how to silence your mind and release the stress, and the benefits will be profound.

  2. What you achieve from Meditation is based on what you need to achieve from meditation. If you find time to sit silently and with yourself, whatever you need to process will begin to be processed. You will begin to release long-held stress, e.g. overthinking in meditation is in itself a mode of releasing stress. Some days will be easier than others, and you will get frustrated, but eventually, you will find your inner calm and see this exhibited in your interactions with others. People meditate for years or decades and never reach enlightenment; even that feeling of enlightenment will change from person to person.


As you start this journey, finding a mantra or method that works for you is the only thing that matters. Then it ultimately comes down to practice and consistency. Like anything!


 

Let's begin


Step 1: Find a Quiet and Comfortable Space


Begin by finding a peaceful and quiet space where you can sit comfortably.


It could be a dedicated meditation room, a corner of your home, or any serene place that allows you to relax and focus.


Step 2: Sit Comfortably


This means both literally and physically in your body.


Sit in a posture that is comfortable for you, cross-legged on a cushion or, if that is uncomfortable, in a chair. Some suggest that you lie down, but it is easier to fall asleep lying down, and sleeping is not meditating. Ensure your spine is upright, jaw relaxed and face relaxed.


Symbolically be at ease in your mind, don’t try to force anything special to happen, relax and be at ease.


Step 3: Close Your Eyes


Gently close your eyes and feel whatever sensations are in the body.


Don’t try to resist anything.

We are letting everything just be as it is.

Take a moment to allow the body to settle down.

Softly release any tension or tightness you may feel.


Step 4: Focus on Your Breath


Shift your attention to your breath.


Feel the sensation of each inhale and exhale, the gentle rise and fall of your abdomen or the coolness of the air entering your nostrils. Use your breath to anchor your mind into the present moment.


If the breath is long, let it be long.

If the breath is short, let it be short.

Let it be natural. Let it be normal.


Step 5: Cultivate Mindfulness


As thoughts, sensations, or sounds arise, simply observe them without judgment.


Acknowledge their presence, but don't get carried away by them.

Bring your attention back to your breath or any other chosen focal point, such as a word or phrase (mantra) that resonates with you.

Start with a seed mantra such as So Hum (“I am”).

Repeat it gently in your mind.


Step 6: Embrace Stillness


Allow yourself to settle into the stillness of the present moment.


Don’t resist the silence. Allow yourself to move into it.

Be aware of your body, sensations, and emotions that arise.


If there is noise, let there be noise.

If there is sensation, let there be sensation.

If there is thought, let there be thought.

Thought is just the stress leaving your body.

Be gentle and compassionate with yourself as you settle into the meditation.


Step 7: Practice Letting Go


During meditation, thoughts and distractions may arise.


Instead of getting caught up in them, practice non-attachment by observing them and gently letting them go.


Imagine they are in a cloud or bubble above your head, and you gently reach up, poke them with your index finger, and watch them gently bounce away.


Return to your breath or mantra, anchoring your attention.


Step 8: End Your Meditation Gently


When you feel ready to conclude your meditation, do so gently and take your time.


Keeping your eyes closed, let go of the mantra or the attention to the breath.

Allow the sensations in your body to settle down.

Expand your breath to notice your body.

Gently wiggle the fingers and toes, and lengthen the spine

Take your time to slowly open your eyes.


Step 9: Affirmation of Practice


As you slowly bring your awareness back to your surroundings, remember this is how we meditate at home.


We don’t worry if the mind wanders while meditating.

It’s okay. It’s normal.

Every time we practice this technique, we strengthen our capacity to be in the present moment.


 

Congratulations, you just meditated.


Remember, the key to effective meditation is regular practice and patience.


Start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable. Allow meditation to be a nourishing and rejuvenating experience, bringing peace and clarity to your mind, body, and soul.


Final thoughts


Simple and succinct is best.

Start by simply focusing on the breath. We breathe in and out about 22,000 times a day without even noticing—time to pay attention.


Schedule mediation into your everyday life.

We commit great amounts of time to physical health, such as running, walking, and working out, so committing small increments of 10 minutes a day to our mental health should also be a priority.


Activate a simple practice and start.

Connect mediation to an existing habit you already have. Do you have a morning or pre-dinner ritual? Like morning stretches? Then do the meditation directly before or after that. Eventually, you will create an association and do it without thinking.


Never meditate before bedtime.

Meditation activates our mind and our emotions; it can unlock trauma or stress, so it is best not to meditate before bedtime. Before breakfast or before dinner is best.


Practice makes perfect.

Do it for at least 21 days straight. It takes time to create a habit. So make sure you continue through the tough days and good days, and only then start increasing your time sitting with mediation.


 

Having trouble starting or staying focused?


If you feel really stuck, the best thing to do is to use a coach and a teacher to make your journey into the practice of meditation easier. You're guided through the meditations from beginning to end to ensure you learn the best practices and go easy on yourself.


Woman meditating on beach with caption Regain Your Calm, Focus and Energy

Feel free to use guided meditation to start.


The Mayfly Maven Meditation Course has four categories of guided meditations.


Once you learn how meditation can be used at different times for different needs throughout your life, when you need to remain calm, increase focus, or merely increase energy in your body through breath, you will know which meditation to use.


Once you know the techniques, you can shift into them as needed and use meditation to:

  1. Embody Calm using Present Moment Awareness Meditations

  2. Create Focus using Calm Focus Meditations

  3. Increase Energy using Energised Body and Mind Meditations

  4. Manifest Bliss using Transcendence and Self-Discovery Meditations

The benefits of meditation are profound and far-reaching.


Meditation is a tool like any other that helps us get control of our reactions and reduces our anxiety, anger or the feeling of vulnerability.


Meditation is a practice that involves training the mind and focusing one's attention to achieve a state of mental clarity and inner peace.


Start your journey today.



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