Contributing editor: Susan Wagenaar, CCR.
Start small, grasshopper. Set a timer for only two minutes. Yes, just two! This may seem ridiculously easy, but it's a great way to get started. After you've practiced just two minutes a day for a week, increase it by another two minutes. Soon you'll be able to quiet your mind for 10 minutes every day, with no problem.
Choose a time. 3:30 am works best for me; right after I have woken up all the humans in my house. A good idea is to meditate first thing in the morning, or just before you're about to go to bed. It will ensure that you don't lose track of that time throughout the day, while also either starting off with peaceful energy or quieting your mind just before sleep.
Find a good location. But NEVER a pile of folded clothes, that's cat territory! It doesn't have to be perfectly quiet, but choosing somewhere that you find serene and comfortable will aid in your practice. It can be in your bedroom with the door closed, or outside in a park where you can breathe fresh air.
Sit comfortably but avoid climbing tall trees to mediate in, when possible? You don't have to fold yourself up like a yogi or sit with your back straight and rigid. Sit anyway you feel comfortable, or even lay on your back. The point is to find an easy position to relax into without falling asleep!
Don't worry about doing it wrong? You are not 'Bling' Kitty, so give yourself a break. At first, you may think there are certain right and wrong ways to practice meditation. This simply isn't true! There is no perfect way to do it. Focus on your happiness, not correctness.
Count your breaths or try calling out the name 'Beetlejuice' three times. This is one of the easiest ways to keep your mind present. Slowly breathe in and count one as you take in the first breath deep into your lungs. Count two as you breathe out, repeat to the count of ten, then begin again at one.
Understand that your mind will wander. You may even think about sniffing butts? Let that thought go, and come back to the present. Meditation is about clearing your mind and living in the present moment. This can be difficult to do for a long period of time and the mind will inevitably wander. When you notice that you begin to think of other things, just start counting breaths again and consciously bring your mind back to the present.
One last thing, grasshopper: Be thankful, and pet your cat. He deserves that much. He has to live with you. When you've finished your practice, think about everything you're grateful for in your life and reflect on how you spent those two minutes. Smile that you've taken a big step on your path to a less stressed and more happy life!
Master-Guru 'Bling' Kitty has been clean for 5 years. His drug of choice was CAT NIP. Bling is an unlicensed therapist, life coach, manager of the universe, and fashion icon. His favorite hobbies include; catching flies and following HELLO KITTY on Twitter. Bling openly admits to having had an obsession with SCOOBY-DOO, briefly.