Yoga and meditation are great tools for elevating yourself into higher levels of consciousness and self-realization. But often times these practices are quite difficult to follow persistently. There are several reasons for that, and I’d like to focus on some of them and to point out how to make meditation more convenient.
Everyone who ever tried to meditate for at least 15 minutes, knows how hard it is actually. This is because when we one-on-one with ourselves, we have to deal with our mind. And you can find in numerous meditation and yoga guides such advices as “clear you mind”, “get rid of thoughts and worries” and so on. But the thing is, you can’t “defeat” your mind, just because it is very powerful. Ancient sages compared mind with a mighty furious elephant. There is no way you can pacify your mind, grappling with it; you will lose eventually.
I remember when I started to practice yoga about 7 years ago, I began with Tibetan techniques, which taught to pacify mind and that was quite frustrating first. But then I realized that those techniques were not meant to teach you to completely clear you mind (which is impossible), but rather to train your mental abilities and make you more focused and disciplined in spiritual practices.
When there is only you and your mind, it will always try to thwart all you attempts to meditate and focus on your inner self. It will use any tricks, doing so. For instance, your mind will try to convince you that it’s not possible for you to meditate, or it’s not worth doing it at all and so forth. The key thing here is not to fight with your mind, let it be and let all the thoughts come in you head; you just ignore them. Instead, focus on something (I recommend focusing on 6th chakra, which is located between your eyebrows and slightly above or 4th chakra in heart area, but it can be any point in space and time actually). In the course of time thoughts will start diminish by themselves gradually, without you exerting any efforts in that direction. And if not, just keep ignoring them.
The next important thing is that many people who are interested in meditation often have high expectations regarding the results of that process. That inevitably puts psychological pressure on them and when they don’t get fast result, they have hoped for or they don’t see any progress, frustration comes. To avoid this, just don’t expect much of yourself, don’t thing about the result at all; instead focus on the process and enjoyment you can derive from it and let the rest take care of itself. Remember that you are not in control of things in this world eventually. Just be.
Another thing I want to mention is that it is always better to put off your meditation if you feel fatigue, flustered or under a serious pressure. In such cases it is a good idea to deal with all those problems as fast as possible, since this is the best way to cope with any sort of impediments. It is good to be calm and focused, when you start your meditation process.
Time you choose to meditate is quite important factor as well. The best time is either sunrise or sunset (the twilight time seems to be conducive to deep mental activities).
Asana (posture) you use when meditating must be comfortable enough to stay in at least for half an hour without feeling much discomfort. I prefer siddh asana, which is a bit downgraded version of the famous and highly praised lotus position.
Speaking about environment, it’s all up to your personal preferences. I like to have quiet ambient sounds (or music even, e.g. one of my favorite artists – Mystical Sun) on the background when I meditate. Others may prefer silence.
The last (but not the least) important consideration I’d like to bring to your attention is that you can’t look at your spiritual practice separately from the rest of you life. The purport is that if you aspire to advance on spiritual path, perhaps you have to change your life-style (or at least some of you habits), since such things as indulgence in sense gratification, intake of alcohol or drugs, treating badly others and lack of discipline can seriously hamper or deny overall progress on the path of self-realization.