Do you want to meditate but don’t know where to start? Suze Yalof Schwartz is the founder and CEO of Unplug, a drop-in meditation studio that aims to share the joy of meditation in its simplest, cleanest form. The following tips from Suze will help even the busiest person to unplug from life for even just a few minutes a day, recharge, and experience the undeniable effects of meditation.
Meditation is easy—and we want to keep it that way! Here are some tips for settling into your sit to make it stress-free.
Time It Right
Pick a time that you likely won’t be interrupted. When your Chinese food delivery is imminent, for instance, is probably not the ideal moment. Make sure there isn’t anything urgent you need to take care of before you sit (a visit to the bathroom, checking on your kids, getting to the post office before it closes in an hour to mail your quarterly taxes, etc.).
Silence Your Phone
The only vibes you want in your meditation are good ones, so switch off that ringer! As one of our students said after finishing a meditation and checking her phone, “I realized that no one died and the world didn’t come to an end while I was unplugged.” I promise, every text, e-mail, or post will be there waiting for you when you’re done.
Create a Ritual
Doing the same thing each time before you begin your session signals your brain, It’s timeto meditate. This isn’t made-up advice; it’s science. A ritual might be sitting in one specific chair or spot in your home, wrapping yourself up in a favorite scarf or blanket, or lighting a candle. My favorite is dropping orange oil in one palm, diffusing it by rubbing my
palms together, and then smelling it. Instant shift and I am ready to start! Steve Ross turned me on to this centering ritual, which I also like to use sometimes: Place your thumb on the space between your eyebrows, right above the bridge of your nose. Close your eyes and bring your attention to that spot. That never fails to shut down my brain noise and bring me into the present moment. It just works for me.
Do a Brain Drain Before You Begin
I learned this trick from Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way. Take out a piece of paper and write down all the things you need to do and all the things on your mind. Then put the piece of paper away and sit down to meditate. This way, you won’t be worried that you’ll forget anything. Plus, when your meditation is finished, you’ll be much better equipped to tackle whatever is on that list.
Lock It Up
Similar to the brain drain is our own Camilla Sacre-Dallerup’s “locker visualization.” Before she became a meditation teacher, Camilla was a lifelong professional ballroom dancer who competed around the world and starred on the British version of Dancing with the Stars for six years. Trained by some of the top athletic coaches in the world, Camilla learned this technique so she could leave everything behind and be fully focused and in the moment while performing. Here’s what you do: Close your eyes and imagine yourself walking into a locker room. Choose a locker and throw in everything on your to-do list and all your worries—all of it. Take as long as you like. When you’re done, imagine yourself closing and locking the door, then walking out of the locker room into a safe, empty space. They are securely left in there for you to pick up at any time after your meditation.
Find a Meditation Buddy
Having someone to be accountable to is a tried-and-true success secret. I did this with a good friend who knew a lot about meditation from me but wasn’t actually doing it. (Davidji jokes that the smarter someone is, the more they’re convinced they get the benefits of meditation just by understanding how it works.) Every day we’d just text a quick “meditation done,” and maybe share one or two things that we experienced in our session. It kept us both on track—especially since we had a sworn pact of no lying!
There’s a meditation path that’s right for each person—you may just need to experiment a little to find yours.
This article is from Unplug by Suze Yalof Schwartz. Schwartz is the founder and CEO of unplug meditation. Before this she worked for Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire and Glamour in a variety of roles.