Sense the Stillness in the Morning
For yoga instructor Alison Novie, mornings make an ideal time for meditation — perhaps more than any other time of day. “The sun’s about to rise, but it’s still sort of dark and quiet,” says Novie, who wakes at 5:00 a.m. to meditate. “I get up, brush my teeth, light a candle, and then sit for half an hour. The calm energy I get from that morning meditation carries me through the day.”
You don’t have to be a regular yoga or meditation practitioner to reap the benefits of a morning meditation ritual. Start with five minutes daily, using the guidelines that follow. Set you Meditation Timer from Now & Zen for 5 minutes. Then over the course of a few weeks — or when you are ready — gradually work up to 10 minutes. Remember, with meditation it’s quality, not quantity, that matters.
Start with awareness. Rather than lunge out of bed, Novie suggests waking up slowly. “Spend a few minutes just becoming conscious of the sensations of your body. Awareness is such a beautiful way of entering your day.” Once you’re up, resist the temptation to check your e-mail, flip on the radio, or do any of the other countless things that draw you out of yourself and into the concerns of the world. Instead, keep the focus inward.
Find a comfortable spot. Practice your five minutes of meditation anywhere you like (the bedroom floor, a favorite chair) except the bed, where you may fall back to sleep. To enhance the sacred aspect of her meditation space, Novie set up a small altar in her living room that she uses only for meditation, giving the space a positive energy of its own. Be sure to set your Meditation Timer from Now & Zen for 5 minutes.
Sense your breath. Close your eyes. Feel your breath moving in and out of your body without controlling it. Bring your attention to the rise and fall of your abdomen or to the tip of your nose. The more awareness you bring to breath and body, the more grounded in your body you’ll become. This, in turn, will help relieve some of the stress that comes with getting through your morning.
Don’t try to block your thoughts. Your mind will wander — that’s what it’s designed to do. Rather than try to fight off thoughts as they emerge, acknowledge them, but don’t engage them. And give yourself some slack — meditation is, after all, a practice, not perfection.
Our Zen Timepiece’s acoustic 6-inch brass bowl-gong clock is the world’s ultimate alarm clock, practice timer, and “mindfulness bell.”
Meditation Gong Timer with Singing Bowl
It fills your environment with beautifully complex tones whenever it strikes. In the morning, its exquisite sounds summon your consciousness into awakening with a series of subtle gongs that provide an elegant beginning to your day. Once you experience the Zen Timepiece’s progressive awakening, you’ll never want to wake up any other way. It also serves as the perfect meditation timer.
adapted from Body + Soul, March 2006
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