Phoenix Life Coaching


Creating a Personal Meditation Ritual

There are many forms of meditation and countless ways to produce the inner quietude and focus so useful for relaxation, healing, and personal growth. Common among most, however, is the use of ritual. Rituals can be a means of sacred observance in themselves, but when integrated with meditation, they become a powerful avenue for creating the atmosphere and mind state conducive to the mindfulness we seek. Rituals are best created for each user by the user. What is meaningful and helpful to you, may not be so for another. There are several general guidelines, however, that most people find helpful. Take from these what is useful and leave the rest.

Set Time Aside: Consistency is central to effective meditation and so it is important to commit yourself to regular practice. At first, this requires discipline. Then, only intent.

  • It is often helpful at first to meditate at about the same time each day.
  • Meditating for about 20 minutes is a good rule of thumb, though meditations can be shorter.
  • Meditate every day at least once. Twice a day is ideal but not necessary. The best times for meditation for many prove to be in the morning and / or evening.
  • Once established, stick to your schedule as much as possible.

Establish a Special Place: Consistent practice of meditation in a special place will endow that place with positive feelings and expectations and will provide you with a reminder to practice.

  • Ensure that the place you select is relatively quite and relaxing for you.
  • Ensure that the place is one that others are unlikely to intrude upon.
  • It is best if the place is not used for other purposes, but if it is, find a way to alter it for when you use it for meditation so that it appears unique.

Set the Atmosphere: Taking a few steps to create a meditative atmosphere is beneficial.

  • Start by using medium to low lighting and vary it as you see fit.
  • Surround yourself with a few objects that relax you, but only a few.
  • Using incense is a very effective adjunct for some.
  • Arrange for yourself not to be disturbed: Disconnect phones and inform others.

Establish a Means of Visibly Starting and Ending Your Meditation: Good rituals have a distinct beginning and a defined end. Try some combination of the following:

  • Sound a chime or bell at the beginning and end.
  • Light a special candle and blow it out when done.
  • Wear something used for meditation and remove it when finished
Other Tips:
  • Avoid large meals just before meditation.
  • Time your meditations with a countdown timer to avoid concern for the passage of time.
  • Allow yourself to come out of your meditation slowly and rest afterwards if needed.

Protect your ritual. Use it with reverence and once you begin it, ensure that you complete it if at all possible. Only share your ritual with others whom you trust.


Copyright © 2002  Phoenix Life-Coaching.

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G. Stephen Renfrey, Ph.D



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