Colleen M. Doumeng
Want to build a solid meditation practice?
Building A Habit of Meditating Daily
Moving from a Crisis Mediator to a Rock Star Meditator
Tips For Creating a Daily Practice
When I teach a student who wants to move their practice from that of a “crises” meditator to a student who meditates everyday I teach,
it’s not about how long you can sit still in the beginning,
it’s about creating the habit of showing up to meditate everyday
I suggest that the student “just show up two to five minutes a day for a month and then slowly build in more time, I repeat, slowly build in more time.”
Students of meditation often think its weird to sit in meditation for such a brief amount of time, or to even get excited about meditating for “only two minutes.”
But, the point is not to do one thing,
the point is to master the habit of “showing up.”
What I have come to learn is that a habit must be established before it can be improved.
If you can learn the basic skill of showing up, then you have a better hope of mastering the finer details. As you master the art of showing up, the first two minutes simply become the ritual at the beginning of a larger routine!
To build a habit, you need to practice it. It is the frequency that makes the difference. In the beginning a habit requires a good deal of effort and concentration to perform – and after a few repetitions it gets easier but it still requires our conscious attention.
“Repeating a habit leads to clear physical changes in the brain,” writes James Clear, author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller, Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results Atomic Habits An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones.
“Habit formation is the process by which a behavior becomes progressively more
automatic through repetition. The more you repeat an activity, the more the structures of your brain changes to become efficient at that activity.” Neuroscientists call this long-term potentiation – which refers to the strengthening of connection between neurons in the brain based on recent patterns of activity. With each repetition, cell-to-cell signaling improves and the neural connections tighten. Neuropsychologist Donald Hebb in 1949, described this phenomenon (known as Hebb’s Law) as ~
neurons that fire together wire together
Make your meditation practice easy to start and the rest will follow! New habits require the same level of frequency. You just need to “keep showing up” everyday and string together enough successful attempts of “showing up” and then the behavior, in this case, your meditation practice, will be firmly planted in your mind. Meditation on a daily basis will become an automatic behavior without us even thinking about it because our subconscious mind now takes over.
Just keep showing up and the rest will follow!