Tobin Blake : Daily Meditations
Excerpted from Everyday Meditation
by Tobin Blake
The following one hundred daily meditations are designed to help you develop a rich and vibrant meditation practice or, for experienced meditators, to increase the depth of your current practice. Specific instructions will be given as you proceed. Use only one meditation per day. If you find particular exercises especially enjoyable, however, by all means use them for several days in a row if you like. Just be certain to continue through the remainder of the exercises when you are ready. For best results, do not skip days, and at a minimum, be sure to read through everything. Each lesson includes important tips for your success.
The daily meditations are interlaced with short chapters that discuss a variety of topics related to meditation. Read through and carefully consider these before you proceed with the next daily meditation. You may wish to refer back to these chapters as needed.
To get the most out of the exercises, I recommend that you meditate twice each day, once in the morning and once at night, for as long as you feel comfortable. If you cannot make time twice a day, at least endeavor to set aside a few minutes each day. Another important point here is that if you miss full days, or even weeks, don't use the lapse as an excuse to quit altogether. As soon as you are willing and able, pick up again right where you left off. You will probably encounter some ego resistance to meditation early on. Be prepared for this. The one hundred daily meditations will help you to understand this resistance and work through it, but you still have to do your part.
Beginners should probably aim to meditate between five and twenty minutes per session, while more advanced students may choose to meditate for up to an hour or more. However, regardless of how long you practice, try to give each meditation your total focus, doing your best to set aside everything else that's going on in your life for just a short period of time. As noted previously, when it comes to meditation, longer is not necessarily better. It isn't particularly helpful to sit for long periods of time if you are not really concentrating; therefore, you will probably find shorter, concentrated meditations more beneficial.
While meditating, if you experience anxiety that does not go away after a few minutes, open your eyes until the feeling dissipates and then resume your practice. If it persists, end your practice until it is time for your next meditation. Most anxiety is minimal and easily passes by as the peace beyond it becomes increasingly compelling. Like most distractions in meditation, if you don't make a big deal out of it, it will disappear on its own.
The first thirty days of our journey together will walk you through a series of exercises that will get you practicing regularly and help you to discover which techniques are most effective for you. The remaining meditations will be increasingly concerned with the development of inner peace and reprogramming the waterfall of thought. They will feature daily thoughts for reflection and contemplation to be used in conjunction with whatever style of meditation you've come to prefer. These daily thoughts can also be used at any time during the day to help you maintain a positive, tranquil mindset.
Just remember, meditation is the highest sort of work; therefore, if it feels difficult at first, so be it. Meditation will challenge you to grow in the most profound ways, and this does require effort.
However, rapid success is also quite possible. Some people take to meditative practice right away. Whatever is the case for you, take one day at a time, one practice at a time. Give some thought to each day's meditation, and do your best with the exercises. Nothing more is needed. Meditation is like a high-interest investment account. A little effort yields large returns over time. Look at these exercises as times set aside for you to destress and unwind, and to begin living a more conscious, inspired, and balanced life. •
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