There are times in your meditation practice when it can feel as though you’re going nowhere. The important word is “Feels.” In reality, everytime you meditate you improve, but sometimes it simply feels as though nothing is changing—you’re not aware of the effect your meditation practice is having. Though your brain is developing, oftentimes this development occurs beneath the service, away from your awareness.
Whenever you’re feeling that your meditation practice isn’t working, it’s important to mix it up. Here are four easy ways to make your meditation more effective.
Easy Ways to Make Meditation More Effective
There are times in meditation when you are going to get into habits. Perhaps you’re doing a mindfulness meditation, focussing on your breathing, but you’re always focussing on the same sensations. When you get into these habits you need to mix it up. Try focussing on different parts of your body. Move your focus from your lips and nose to your abdomen, or focus on other sensations while breathing. Simple mix-ups like this add variety that helps boost your development.
Perhaps you are practicing loving kindness meditation but the meditation always follows the same pattern. It is quite easy to add variety to loving kindness meditation simply by focussing on people you do not normally include in your meditations.
Add variety and you will increase the effect of your meditations.
It’s important to focus on different types of meditations at different times. If you have been doing mindfulness breathing exercises for a few weeks (for instance) it might benefit you to try doing other activities mindfully. Even a simple task like doing the dishes can be practiced as a mindfulness meditation.
Alternatively, if you always do sitting meditations try some movement meditation. Practicing Zen walking, dynamic meditation or other movement meditations can help add something new to your practice.
Change your Ambition
We all come to meditation with different desires. Some people meditate in order to relax, while others meditate to improve focus and concentration. When you alter your ambition you bring something new to your meditation. Try to change your ambition regularly.
Examples of ambitions include: to increase compassion, to build concentration, for relaxation, to remove negative thoughts, to increase creativity and so on. Change your ambition and you will change your meditation.
The key here is to make sure that you are adding enough variety to your meditations to keep things fresh. A little neuroplasticity goes a long way. Change your focus, change your brain.