What is the right type of meditation for entrepreneurs?
If you do a Google search for the “best meditation method” you will come up with more than 20 types of meditation. So how do you choose what will work for you, especially if you’re a busy entrepreneur?
9 ways to choose the right type of meditation
Here are 9 things entrepreneurs should consider when choosing the right type of meditation.
- Identify you goals. Entrepreneurs come to meditation for many reasons and we are all different. Identify what you want to achieve through meditation. Goals may include:
- Experiencing more calm and less stress in daily living.
- Improving productivity and focus.
- Reducing anxiety when speaking in public or going to the dentist.
- Dealing with addiction, loss or grief.
- Managing pain, headaches or other chronic conditions.
- Undergoing childbirth, chemotherapy or surgery with less stress and medication.
- Becoming more self-aware, spiritual or enlightened.
- Identify how you learn. Thirty years ago, I had several miserable experiences with guided meditation (listening to someone’s voice take me on a long journey) because I could not even visualize a straight line with my eyes closed. Afterward people would share these amazing journeys into a castle filled with jewels, while I saw nothing. At that point I came to believe that meditation was something that I could not do. It took me a long time to recognize that I needed a type of meditation that helped me focus on my breathing and sensations (such as being warm and relaxed) in my body, rather than on a visual journey.
- Know your physical needs. You need to be physically comfortable to enjoy meditation – and the standard meditation cushion may not be ideal for your needs. Meditation is generally taught in a sitting position because the goal is for you to become relaxed, without falling asleep. When I started meditation classes in early 2017, I was having a great deal of neck pain. Sitting up exacerbated my neck pain and, once again, I hated meditation because it made me focus on how much I hurt. Thankfully a physical therapist in the group told me to try lying down. This supported my neck and I instantly enjoyed the meditation experience. If you’re a person who hates staying in one position, try a moving meditation such as yoga chi gong.
- Think about your ideal class environment. You can learn meditation through in-person or online classes, or by using an app. I recommend the in-person experience because instructors can answer questions, you can learn from your fellow classmates, and you’re not getting distracted by home or work. However I also recognize that it may be tough for some people (including myself) to fully relax in a group setting or to attend a local class. Choose what feels right for you.
- Choose your instructor wisely. Instructors vary in their experience and teaching styles. I would recommend choosing someone who matches your personality and your meditation goals. My first teacher was a woman in her 70s who radiated loving kindness and was working on some health issues of her own. On the other hand, there is a teacher in my area that whacks people with a paddle if they fall asleep meditating! He has a very devoted following but I would never recommend his class for sensitive souls like myself.
- Commit to practice time. This might be meditating for 5 minutes every afternoon using a meditation app or attending a 2-hour weekly class in your area (or both). Write it in your schedule. I generally meditate shortly after 2:00 PM. This is a time when my mind is tired and I’m ready to recharge.
- Be open to change. For two years, my meditation method was a daily, hour-long, silent meditation while I was lying down. That changed in 2018 when I learned I needed total knee replacement surgery. Each time I went to meditate, I would relax and then become engulfed in terror about the surgery. I tried all the meditation tricks (such as accepting the feeling and being inquisitive about it) without success, and began to dread the whole meditation experience. Finally I recognized it was time to change things up, and I found a guided meditation to help me prepare for surgery. My recovery was a nightmare and I felt like meditation had failed me. It took another 3 years before I was willing to try again.
- Know that meditation is a personal journey. Meditation is not like reading a book – you don’t finish it and then move on. It is a life-long practice designed to improve your life. It was during my meditation practice that I realized I needed to stop my work as a freelance writer and start this group to support female entrepreneurs. We are all different. What works for someone else may not work for you.
- Don’t compare yourself. At a meditation class prior to me knee replacement, I was very conscious of the pain in my right knee and my fear around my upcoming surgery. After the meditation, participants were invited to share their experiences. One of the participants said he saw himself floating outside of his body, where he was free from human experiences (including pain). I was immediately envious! I wanted to float outside my body and transcend my knee pain. It is at these junctures when we need to go back to the previous point – meditation is a personal journey – and reflect on our own growth. It’s my experience that there are always people in a class who have amazing experiences that seem far superior to mine. That doesn’t mean the work I’m doing is not valid or in my best interest.
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