Inspire yourself to get in the meditation habit with one of these meditation extras.
Meditation doesn’t have to equal boring.
Considering all the proven benefits of meditation, it’s definitely in our best interest to make it appealing. That way, we’re that much more likely to make it a habit.
So here are nine ways to entice yourself to sit down on your meditation cushion. Try one or try them all, and switch it up when you need to inject fresh inspiration into your practice.
P.S. You’ll notice I’m leaving the meditation apps out of this list, as there are plenty of posts about them already. And while I do fire up Insight Timer from time to time, and I know more than one person who enjoys Headspace, I often prefer to leave my phone on airplane mode until I’m done meditating every morning. But honestly: if an app helps you stay in the habit, absolutely go with an app!
If you love a good scent like I do, a stick or cone of incense or a few drops of essential oil in a diffuser can transform monotony into transcendence. That’s why starting your meditation off with a scent you love can make all the difference in your enthusiasm level. Sandalwood, frankincense, cinnamon, cedar, and vetiver are all particularly suited to meditation.
2. Oracle Cards
Draw a single card from a deck of oracle cards just as you sit down to meditate. After reading about its significance in the deck’s companion book and contemplating its possible relevance in your life right now, place the card at eye level and gaze at its beauty as you meditate. As you breathe deeply and relax, feel yourself absorbing the wisdom of the card on many levels. When you notice your mind wandering, don’t judge: simply bring it back.
3. Prayer Beads
A string of Prayer beads (also called a mala when created in a specific form) can be a beautiful tool to help focus your mind on the present moment. After choosing a short affirmation or mantra, repeat it once for each bead. Or, if you prefer, you can create your own special prayer beads that contain one bead for each divinity, spirit, or aspect of existence you’d like to focus on, pray for, or otherwise connect with during your meditation.
With or without a guitar, try meditating by placing your attention on the sound and feeling of your very own mellifluous voice singing an uplifting song. This is a form of meditation often formally practiced (at yoga centers and elsewhere) as Kirtan. But you can choose a song (or write one) that appeals to you and do it in your own way. You can also sing along to a recording or employ a drum if you prefer. Keep in mind that repetition is helpful for quieting and calming the mind.
A couple of solid crystal points are excellent for holding in each hand while you meditate. In addition to activating and enlivening your body, mind, and spirit with their unique healing vibrations, they provide a solid, grounding feeling and help you align with the naturally balancing energy field of the earth. Plus, they’re pretty, and beauty uplifts your consciousness. Many varieties are particularly suited to meditation, such as quartz, fluorite, tourmaline, amethyst, and hematite.
6. The I Ching
The I Ching is an extremely ancient divination tool that can provide deep insight into your day while lending an inspiring anchor to your meditation practice in the process. (Doesn’t “sitting down for an I Ching reading” sound potentially more habit forming than “sitting down to meditate”?) The book pictured is the translation I personally prefer, but there are countless. Find one that speaks to you. If you’re not sure how to do a reading, you can learn how to get started in this post. Once you’ve pulled your daily hexagram, read about it, contemplate it, and then meditate by envisioning the aspects of nature your reading evokes.
While meditation music is great, placing your full attention on any song that you love is a form of meditation. So if you can inspire yourself to listen to your favorite songs, you can inspire yourself to meditate. Just make sure that you’re sitting somewhere where you won’t be disturbed and closing your eyes. When your mind starts to wander, don’t worry! Just bring it back to the music again and again.
Runes are an ancient Germanic tool of divination. If they call to you, try getting a set or making your own. Draw one rune before your meditation practice. Contemplate its meaning and relevance in your life right now. Then close your eyes and bring a picture of the rune to mind. Continue to hold this image in your mind as you breathe consciously. This will help you absorb the rune’s power and wisdom while simultaneously blessing you with all the many benefits of meditation. As always, when you notice mind wandering, just bring it back.
Do you love tea? Make a cup of tea the focal point of your meditation. Brew it mindfully. When you’re ready to meditate, sit on your cushion (or chair or wherever) and set the intention to be completely present. Then enjoy your tea one sip at a time. Notice the way it smells and tastes. Notice the steam. Notice the color of the cup. Notice the way the light is illuminating the room and the sounds in the distance. Notice and appreciate absolutely whatever you like, as long as it’s in the here and now. Of course, your mind will wander, because that’s what minds do. So when you notice it doing that, simply bring it back to the delicious tea in your cup and the only moment there is: now.
Meditation is among the best of all habits to cultivate. It supports all aspects of your physical, mental, and emotional health. It relieves depression, anxiety, and everyday stress. And it absolutely makes your life better. So if one or more of these ideas helps you get in the meditation habit, by all means, employ it!
You may also like to check out my meditation playlist on YouTube.
Did you try any of the ideas in this post to help you meditate? Or do you plan to? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.