Idanim recently held its first offline masterclass with one of our experts, Zoe Kanat, who is also a board member of the Meditation Association of Australia. It was an enlightening session in which Zoe discussed deepening one's meditation practice. The event began with a brief introduction of Zoe by our co-founder Raman Mittal, a meditator himself for over 15 years.
As someone who took her own time to come into the practice, Zoe admits that she would mostly use meditation sporadically to overcome a feeling or a situation when she started out, so she knew what initial hiccups the beginners may face. While, the idea behind mindfulness seems simple—the practice takes patience. And indeed, our renowned expert recounted that her initial experience with meditation showed her how quickly the mind gets caught up in other tasks.
One has to realize that meditation is personal experience and journey, and everyone has their own learning curve. If you’re a beginner, after reading this you’ll have a solid foundation as you progress; if you’re intermediate, you’ll learn how to deepen your practice; if you’re advanced, you’ll learn a few new tips and tricks to try out on your journey.
This blog will provide some of the essential points and key takeaways from the masterclass. In the first half, Zoe discussed how to make meditation a daily habit and overcome the initial problems one may encounter while beginning to meditate. So, here are a few tips that can make it easy for you to plunge into the practice:
1. Setting an intention: It allows you to ensure that you meditate daily. Dr. Joe Dispenza once said, 'What you think and feel becomes your life’, so envision yourself meditating, where you would do it, what you would look like, or how it would feel. You can also experiment with manifestation methods by writing in your journal or diary, 'I will meditate every day.'
2. Deciding on a time: To become a daily practitioner, you must first decide on a time when you will meditate every day and ensure that it is reasonable for you. Meditation can be practiced before going to bed or early in the morning, or any other time in between. It is advised to practice at the same time everyday so that you can inculcate a habit. Reading something encouraging can motivate you to meditate on a daily basis.
3. Giving yourself space: It is essential to give yourself some space while slowing down and settling into meditation practice. Here are a few things you can do to give yourself some breathing room. Begin by keeping a journal, recording, or tracking your meditation activities. After you finish your meditation practice, you can simply sit silently for a few minutes. All of these will assist you in creating a safe zone for yourself.
4. Maintaining proper posture: Posture is a critical part in any meditation technique. While daily meditation is vital, sitting in the proper posture is also necessary. You must sit in a comfortable position because you will be sitting for an extended period of time. Adjust your posture. Your head and spine should be aligned. Here is a quick guide for you to attain the correct meditation posture.
5. Salutations: Have you ever felt the need to acknowledge something when you embark on something meaningful? You need to do so in meditation as well. Meditation connects you with your mind and body on a deeper level. It is imperative to give salutations which can be done in the form of lightning, a candle, or taking a moment to transition from one place to another.
It’s estimated that 95% of our behavior runs on autopilot. That’s because neural networks underlie all of our habits, reducing our millions of sensory inputs per second into manageable shortcuts so we can function in this crazy world. These default brain signals are so efficient that they often cause us to relapse into old behaviors before we remember what we meant to do instead.
Mindfulness is the exact opposite of these default processes. It’s taking executive control rather than autopilot, and enables intentional actions, willpower, and decisions. But that takes practice. The more we activate the intentional brain, the stronger it gets. Every time we do something deliberate and new, we stimulate neuroplasticity, activating our gray matter, which is full of newly sprouted neurons that have not yet been groomed for an “autopilot” brain.
It's tough to determine when and how you will start deepening your meditation practice. It all boils down to how you perceive yourself, the world, and the people in your life. The masterclass concluded with a live meditation practice, followed by Zoe answering a few questions from the audience. You can view the recorded session if you missed the live class or want to revisit the learning. Watch it here: