Daily meditation in the morning starts with a decision to start but, understand you are likely to need more than sheer will-power to sustain this decision over time.
In this article, therefore, I also give you tips on how to create the habit of meditating daily—as well as take you through a simple guided meditation that will focus your energy and prime your nervous system for the day ahead.
How to Create the Habit of Meditating Each Day
The science of habit creation makes it clear—the one thing you need to focus on to turn a decision for the desired action into a habit is to show up each day.
Make it easy and fun
Therefore make the action easy and fun. Focus on showing up and sitting on your meditation cushion for 1 minute each day rather than trying to meditate at 5 am each day for an hour.
One thing I’ve found to be extremely useful is to not focus on the quality of my practice as a means of gauging progress but rather to focus on creating momentum and allowing the compound effect of meditation to take care of progress.
When you track the momentum rather than the quality of meditation you place yourself in a better position to show up each day. And it is only through showing up each day that it will become a habit to do so.
So how do you make certain you show up each day? Use the same strategy as Jerry Sinfield used to create the habit of writing daily. Print out a yearly calendar and pin it on a wall.
Then, after you meditate mark that day on the calendar with a big red cross.
Build a chain of red crosses!
From there, we can move into how you can meditate.
A Guided Meditation
Sit comfortably in a chair, or on the floor, or lay flat on your back with your hands to the side.
Imagine your spine is like a pillar of energy. And let your body hang loose and relaxed from this pillar of energy.
Place your hands in a comfortable position. If you are sitting, your spine should be straight with your head tilted down on roughly 30 to 45%.
And your eyes can either be half or fully closed.
If you are tired or sleepy, leave your eyes slightly open as the light will prevent falling further into drowsiness.
Now bring your attention inside to the natural rising and falling of the breath.
Do not force your breathing.
Simply witness the natural movement of your breath as you would watch gentle waves wash up onto the sand and then dissolve back into the ocean.
Do this until the mind is calmed or for at least 30 seconds.
Now take your right index finger, and place it over the right nostril, then press it closed so that no air can escape.
Take a long deep breath and hold it for one second into your belly through the left nostril (do not breathe into your chest).
Then move your index finger to cover the left nostril making certain to not let any air escape as you move your finger.
Then breathe out sharply with force through your right nostril.
In through the left slowly; out through the right sharply with force.
Repeat this cycle three times.
After the cycle of three is complete, we repeat this again in the opposite direction.
Take your left index finger and place it over the left nostril to close it off.
Breathe in deeply through the right nostril.
Hold it for one second as you move the index finger to close the right nostril.
Then breathe out sharply with force through your left nostril.
Do this three times.
Next, we breathe in deeply and slowly through both nostrils. Breathe into your belly, not your chest.
Hold for one second.
Then breathe out sharply and with force through both nostrils.
Repeat three times.
This is the first round of the Nine-fold breathing technique.
The second round is the same as above, but when you breathe out, you do so slowly and gently.
Every other part of the meditation is the same as above.
The third round to complete the breathing meditation to balance and strengthen your autonomic nervous system extends the holding of breath.
As before, breathe in through both nostrils deep into your belly and hold the breath.
Holding it until just before you feel uncomfortable.
Then release the air slowly out through both nostrils.
Repeat this breathing technique three times.
At this point, you can either do the full nine-rounds again, or you can relax your breathing and go back to a simple witnessing of the natural rising and falling of your breath without trying to manipulate it in any way.
You can meditate in this witnessing mode as long as you wish. Or go onto other practices of meditation, such as meditating on the nature of consciousness, or simply go on with your day.
What To Do Now
I have a detailed article here on how to start a daily meditation practice that you may find useful.
I’ve also created a free meditation course here.
In this free course on how to start a daily meditation practice, I’ve laid out everything you will need to know to create a daily practice that best suits your needs and will stick over time.
Photo by Gia Oris