What does it really mean to deepen your meditation?
Before I answer this, it’s important to remember that deepening your meditation practice is really about deepening your level of self knowledge, stillness, clarity and connection to your heart.
It’s about deepening into life.
I’ve just come out of a 7-day meditation intensive, and as I was reflecting on my experiences of the week, it reminded me of a question that people often ask me when I tell them I’m going away to meditate for a week (or longer).
They ask me: “Why would you do that? Isn’t your regular daily meditation practice enough?”
It’s a great question!
Why would someone do such a thing!
Deepening Your Meditation is like Improving any Skill
Let’s look at sport to understand a relatable principle we can all relate to.
Growing up in Australia I was very active. I play a variety of sports, but my favourite was ice hockey. Yes, ice hockey in Australia! It’s probably not the first sport you think of when you think about Australia, but I loved it. The speed, dynamism and flow really did something for me! There weren’t many ice arenas around, but there were enough to have leagues.
I loved it and got as much ice time as I could, which wasn’t much because the arenas in Australia didn’t make much money from ice hockey games or training sessions.
We’d usually play a game once a week and usually train once a week (twice if I was lucky!). So that was two to three times a week for 60 – 90 minutes.
When I was 19, there were two high level Czech players living in Australia who organized a three-week training camp back in the Czech Republic.
Why the Czech Republic?
Because we could immerse ourselves in hockey in a way that would not be possible in Australia.
We were going to be training tree times a day – two times on ice, and one off ice training.
For me, this was an irresistible offer! So, I signed up!
Besides being even more in love with the sport after this experience, when I came back to Australia and began playing and training again, I could really feel how my skill and confidence levels had grown at a more accelerated speed than would have been possible if I’d just been on ice for the usual two sessions a week.
There’s something of an exponential growth that happens through intensive trainings like this. It’s so much more than just taking the number of hours trained over those three weeks and thinking that I’d be at the same level if I’d spread it over the 6 months of twice a week.
There was a sense of bathing in the energy of ice hockey for 3 weeks and coming out the other side at a completely different level. There was a fundamental shift inside myself and how I felt – not only in regard to hockey skills and confidence, but to my overall sense of self.
Have you ever had experiences like this, where you committed you time and energy to something over a few days, a weekend or maybe a week or more? It could have been a sport, martial art, self development or healing retreat, or even a marketing conference or course.
Could you feel how the commitment of your time and energy into that thing and bathing in it intensively for that time change you?
Could you feel the exponential growth in your skill set, knowledge, competency, self awareness and confidence?
Phases of intense training are powerful accelerators for inner transformation… and those inner transformations impact many aspects of our life, from business and career to relationships and family or our passions and spiritual life.
Deepening Your Meditation
Coming back to meditation. Why would someone commit to a weekend or a week (or more) of full-time meditation practices?
It’s the same principle – to take us to a deeper level of self awareness, stillness, stability and connection to our heart than what would be possible if we only did our baseline level of practice.
I’m not suggesting the baseline is good or bad, it’s simply where we’re at. It’s important to understand that sometimes we need to do a phase of more to reach a deeper level, and when we return to our regular practice something is fundamentally different.
We feel more permeated by stillness.
There’s a feeling of greater clarity in our life.
But what does doing more really mean?
This can be quite a personal thing.
Does this mean your have to do a week-long intensive to boost your meditation?
Perhaps one day you will, but doing a phase of more to deepen your meditation practice might look different depending on what your baseline is.
Remember, deepening your meditation practice is really about deepening your level of self knowledge, stillness, clarity and connection to your heart. Yes, I’m repeating this! It’s important!
This deepening really is a personal strategy based on where you’re at and what you want.
Here are a few examples of what I might suggest to the clients or students I work with for personal strategies without having to do intensive style courses or retreats.
If you’re just starting to dip your toes into the waters of meditation, and perhaps you only try meditating occasionally, then committing to 10 minutes per day is doing more. It will take you to a deeper level.
Have you been meditating for a while now but don’t do it very regularly? Maybe you’re comfortable doing 10 – 20 minute meditations but only a couple of times a week (or less), or only when you feel you need it? In this case, committing to a consistent practice every day can take you to a deeper level. You don’t necessarily have to increase the time of your meditations, you just have to be consistent. Doing it every day will make a will help you deepen your meditation!
You already meditate consistently everyday, perhaps 20 minute sessions. It might be you already feel a level of peace permeating your life from your practice, but you feel a curiosity or an inner desire to go deeper. Or you might feel like you’ve plateaued. In this case you could try one or both of these two options.
Option 1: Maintain your consistency but increase your regular meditation session by 10 or 20 minutes.
Option 2: Still maintaining your consistency but do two meditations per day. Perhaps one in the morning and one in the evening before going to sleep. This is one that you might take on for a phase. Commit to a month of twice a day and feel the impact.
The foundation for making your meditation practice work
Can you see the common thread between all of these examples?
This is one of the big the keys to making your meditation practice work… whatever level you’re at.
So, if you feel the desire for more depth and wonder how to deepen your meditation practice, first make sure you’re being consistent. Over the last 20 years, from all the people I’ve known and worked with who meditated, the ones who were the most consistent were the ones who had the greatest results.
Start with a solid foundation and then build on it.
I talk more about consistency in my previous post – Meditation: Setting Yourself Up For Success. I also share a couple more tips.
The examples I’ve given above are not like going to a weekend or week-long meditation intensive or retreat, they’re simple ways you can deepen your meditation without too much impact on your life – besides the deeper levels of peace, clarity and connection that come into your life of course! 😉
You might even find that by following these examples, they become the new baseline for your practice and your life.
Wherever you’re at in your meditation practice I invite you to deepen into your practice and your life.
Your Personal Strategy to Deepen Your Meditation
I’ve given a few examples that you can apply right now, but that small list is by no means exhaustive. There are many facets to deepening your meditation and some of them come from complimentary practices that are not meditation but have a direct impact on your meditation. For example various practices and techniques for working with and healing your emotions.
Remember, creating your personal strategy to deepen your meditation practice is really about creating a strategy for deepening your level of self knowledge, stillness, clarity and connection to your heart… The things we need to live a joyful and fulfilling life.
But you already knew that right? 😉
If you’re ready to deepen your meditation practice and have a more joyful and fulfilling life, but find you’re challenged by all the stress, anxiety, emotional reactivity and chaos of the world, and feel like you could use some support, I can help.
In addition to the various courses and resources on the Peacekeeper Project website I also offer private one on one session.
In a private session I’ll get to know you and understand where your challenges and limits are. We’ll work together to help you to identify what’s holding you back, and then create a personal strategy to reconnect you with the power of your heart. Meditation will be an important part of this!
If your heart is calling you to go deeper and you feel called to work with me, please reach out. I’d love to connect with you!
The Peacekeeper Project offers training and education to help you quiet your busy mind, so you can live from your heart.
To get started with meditation and learn the Peacekeeper Project’s Heart Space Meditation, you can gain access to a Free Course here.
If you’re ready to dive in and live from your heart, then Finding Stillness is a comprehensive 21 Day Meditation and Mindfulness Online Course that will teach you how to quiet your busy mind so you can live from the heart.
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