Morning Ritual #2: Meditation.
Each morning, after anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and a half of yoga, I meditate. Meditation connects you to your own source and spirit, without any external inputs, stilling everything to you infinite essence. Meditation is the most powerful way to get in touch with your divine nature.
After trying a number of techniques over the years, the one I connect to most and still practice today is Vipassana; it’s the form that’s closest to what the Buddha taught, and there are centers around the world where you can learn the technique during a free 10-day silent retreat. It’s amazing and intense – you meditate about 11 hours per day. Read about my experience of 10 days in silence here.
If you’ve never meditated, I don’t recommend jumping directly into the 10 day retreat – you might lose your mind (though I suppose that’s the whole point of meditation, isn’t it??). Though if it sounds exciting to you and you feel called – go for it!!! Some of my other favorite Vipassana meditators are Anthony Keidis of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tina Su from ThinkSimpleNow, and Brian Johnson from Philosopher’s Notes.
What I do recommend is finding a meditation center or classes near you – it’s funny how simple meditation is, yet how hard it is to just sit down and breathe. Taking a class provides the support and instruction to ease you into getting started.
In Los Angeles my meditation education began at the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, where they teach a secular, science-based, stress-reduction technique. You also can download free guided meditations here. It’s best to start small, 5 minutes of meditation per day, and work your way up to longer periods.