8. Find a mindful community
A community is one of those things which you can get away without having if you really need to, but which without you'll be greatly hindering your ability to stay consistent, create a thriving practice, and even just to stick to the practice in the first place.
A community of like-minded individuals, even one you only get to meet once every 2-4 weeks, is priceless and will not only help you stick to your practice but will help you develop your practice further in less time (that's not the point, but still worth mentioning).
Without a community of other mindful practitioners, you're alone in your practice and have no one which you can communicate with regarding your challenges.
Even simply for this reason it's highly valuable, but there's also an accountability factor which makes a community a powerful tool in helping develop your mindfulness practice into a daily habit (or, in other words, a way of life).
There are many ways to go about finding a community, including simply searching Google for mindfulness meditation classes in your area, but here are a few links to certain practice groups which you may find helpful:
- Wake Up – Get Involved!
- The Mindfulness Bell – Sangha Directory
- Shambhala Directory
- Plumline: Plum Village Google+ Digital Groups
9. Create a Zen space at home
A Zen space is my fancy term for a dedicated meditation space. This is the one real tangible item on this list, but it's no less important than anything else.
To create a dedicated meditation space in your home, a space which you've decided as being a place for meditation and mindfulness and nothing else, is a sign of having prioritized your practice.
A space such as this encourages your practice because it creates a place you can go to find peace at any time of day (provided you're at home). It's a dedicated place with all potential distractions removed. This encourages your meditation and mindfulness practice on multiple levels.
If you'd like to learn more about creating a Zen space, read How to Create a Zen Space.
And for more information on creating a home meditation practice:
- Read: 5 Tools to Help You Start Your Home Meditation Practice
- Listen: How to Create a Home Meditation Practice
10. Follow the path of least resistance
The path of least resistance is a simple principle which I've used time and time again to help me develop and strengthen both my home meditation practice and my daily practice of mindful living.
The basic idea is this: we naturally do the thing which is easiest to do at any given moment, unless we make an intentional push to act in some other way. Which is difficult, if not impossible, to do consistently.
So what do you do? Are we just destined to push aside our meditation practice for the siren song of the lazy boy and primetime T.V.? Is it always going to be an uphill battle against the habit of mindlessness? Not if you utilize this knowledge.
The path of least resistance has different applications whether we're talking about sitting meditation practice or the overall practice of mindful living, but in all cases the same general idea applies: make it as easy to practice as possible and more difficult to do those other things which distract you from your practice. Or, in other words, encourage an environment conducive to mindfulness and discourage mindless activities.
Learn more about the path of least resistance: 5 Steps to Making Meditation a Daily Habit.
The Complete Moment-to-Moment Guide to Mindful Living
Years ago, the practice of mindfulness changed my life dramatically. I went from being stressed out and disconnected from the world around me to being more at peace and present in my day-to-day life.
Much of this post was adapted from my second book, Zen for Everyday Life, which is the most complete moment-to-moment mindfulness practice guide I've written to date. I provide freely dozens of posts, guides, and podcast episodes here for you which can be used to begin, progress, and further deepen a daily mindfulness practice like what was discussed in this post (which you're welcome to explore). However, Zen for Everyday Life thoughtfully organizes much of it into one place in a clear and simple way for you to implement effectively.
If you're interested in effectively bringing more mindfulness into your daily life to relieve stress, realize greater peace, and become more present in your day-to-day life, then Zen for Everyday Life will guide you.