Building a 15-minutes meditation practice may be one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself. It is one of the highest forms of self-care, and it serves myriad purposes from deepening your spirituality to improving your physical health.
But for so many of us, it’s just not easy.
It helps to have a better understanding of meditation and what it can do for you.
It also helps to have a 15-minute meditation to focus the mind so you can build a solid, repetitive routine.
Meditation used to be just something for crazy hippies that went on long sojourns to India and came home wearing robes and sandals.
Everyone kind of looked at them out of the sides of their eyes and kept moving, rushing, hustling, and bustling our ways back through our packed schedules on too much caffeine and not enough sleep.
But that lifestyle caught up with us.
Today, an increasing number of people are succumbing to depression, anxiety, and burn out, or some combination of the three.
We humans were simply not built for the never-ending rush this current western civilization has us over committed to.
Unfortunately, even today when you crash and burn, stressed out to the max, most doctors will simply prescribe you with drugs.
If you’re lucky, you’ll get a referral to a therapist.
Who will also prescribe you with drugs.
Maybe, just maybe, your therapist will teach you a deep breath technique and tell you to count to 10.
The problem is, counting to 10 does not always work.
“I’m still freaking out!”
And the drugs only work half the time.
Anti-anxiety meds and anti-depressants have been shown in multiple studies to only be effective about 50% of the time, and “effective” does not mean you are now relieved and happy. It just means you are “less depressed” or “less anxious.”
So you feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle. Alone.
Fortunately, more doctors, nurses, psychologists, therapists, coaches, and other helpers and healers are bringing the concept of 15-minute meditation as a genuine healing practice to the forefront.
We’re seeing schools around the country, and the world, beginning to introduce meditation into the classroom, particularly in low income and high crime areas.
The rise of osteopathic medicine as an accepted form of healthcare has led to more discussions around holistic health and, imagine this, preventative medicine, which must include meditation.
And an increasing number of books and podcasts are discussing the actual, verifiable data on the results of meditation.
In his book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, Dr. Joe Dispenza cites the study that showed the brains of long-term meditators operate on a whole other level from the brains of the rest of us.
Long term practiced meditators are more self-aware, more positive, more connected to the concept of oneness and wholeness, more able to concentrate, and more relaxed.
And while all of that sounds warm and fuzzy, and who doesn’t want to feel warm and fuzzy, it actually also translates to our physical health.
All of those positive emotions and the ability to detach from outcomes and be object about life relate directly to our physical and mental health.
We have stronger immune systems, less pain and inflammation, and therefore less illness and greater healthy longevity.
We don’t just live longer; we live better for longer.
Meditate. Convinced Yet?
“Alright! Alright! I’m convinced!” You say. “Just tell me what to do.”
Meditate! Put a 15-minute meditation into your day.
The best thing you can do is sit in the present moment, sit in your whole body, take one full breath after another, and check in with yourself from the soles of your feet and your root chakra up through your nervous system and heart space and out the top of your head.
To create a guided morning meditation, you’ll sit in a comfortable position, take a couple of deep cleansing breaths, mindful breaths, settle into deep relaxation, and fill yourself with positive energy and a sense of inner peace.
Prepping Your Workspace
In the first place, before you meditate or decide on the type of meditation to integrate into your daily life, you need to prepare your workspace.
You cannot expect a clear, clean meditation with constant distractions.
Likewise, you are setting yourself up to fail if you meditate in the wrong space and time.
So, set yourself up for success.
- Pick a Time
You should meditate at the same time every day. Most practitioners will advise meditation first thing in the morning, before you do anything else, to set the tone for the day.
We are aiming to have something called equanimity throughout our day.
Equanimity is a detached, objective outlook on all that occurs. You remain neutral and take action rather than reacting from a place of emotion.
We achieve this equanimity best when we begin our day quieting our minds and connecting with the divine.
I like to rise early, before the kids are up and creating beautiful chaos, brush my teeth and scrape my tongue to remove all toxins from the night of sleep, then drink a glass of room temperature lemon water. (These are ayurvedic practices that encourage universal energy flow.)
I then do about 20 minutes of yoga to wake up my mind and body before beginning meditation. This way, I know I’m not just falling asleep during meditation after just waking up.
- Clean, Clear Space
You cannot expect to meditate in a room filled with noise, disorder, and distraction.
Choose a room that makes you feel uplifted and does not encourage sleep. So don’t meditate in bed or in your bedroom.
Keep this space clean. Indeed, make it the most beautiful room in your house if you can, filled with your crystals and tarot cards, fresh flowers and relaxing images.
Close the door to the room and turn on either some low relaxing music or some white noise so you are not distracted by what takes place outside the room.
- Remove Distractions
Remove any pets who will pester you, jump on your lap, etc.
Also remove your phone and any other devices that will ding, ring, or chime, interrupting your flow.
If you wear a watch, ensure it is on airplane mode, so it does not provide you with distractions like your phone does.
I have an Apple watch, and if I remove my phone and forget to turn my watch onto airplane mode, it kind of defeats the purpose of removing the phone.
Now you are ready to meditate. You must go through the ritual of creating your safe meditation sanctuary every morning as it sets the tone for what is to come.
15 Minute Meditation Script
15 minutes really is the absolute bare minimum for meditation. Abraham Hicks says 15 to 20 minutes. Dr. Dispenza encourages up to 45 minutes if you are seeking true transformation and healing.
But 15 minutes is a great start.
If you’re balking at this time allotment, thinking to yourself that you don’t have time every single day to dedicate to what could take up to an hour if you include ayurveda, yoga, and meditation, think about how much time it takes to be sick.
Think about how much time it takes to recover from illness.
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Think about how much time it takes to care for others when they are sick.
Self-care is at the center of total wellness and the change we would all like to see in the world.
And meditation is at the center of any true self-care routine.
Body Scan Meditation – 5 Minutes
Of course, everyone has those days when we wake up late, our kids wake us up too early, or our day gets thrown off in some other ways.
On those occasions you cannot fit in a 15-minute meditation you can do a quick 5 minute body scan meditation.
Dr. Laura Berman, from the podcast The Language of Love advises doing this every single day no matter what.
You simply sit on the ground or on a chair with your feet on the ground, close your eyes, and mentally scan your body from your head to your toes.
You check in with yourself, pull the light of the universe in through your crown, and pull it all the way down through your body, checking in with all of your parts, and then down and out through your toes and into the earth.
You hook into the earth, picturing wellness, that light from the universe, rooting you into the stuff you were made from that is constantly healing you – the earth- and blossoming outward.
A 15-Minute Meditation
On all other days, your minimum goal is 15 minutes.
The script is similar to the 5-minute meditation, but you go through it much more slowly.
You scan each body part and check in with each chakra on your way down – crown, third eye, throat, heart, solar plexus, sacral, and root.
Picture each chakra being scrubbed clean with a bright white padded sponge.
Name the chakras in your mind and commit to connecting to each chakra throughout the day.
Crown: I will remain open to the divine.
Third Eye: I will remain aware of my inner wisdom.
Throat: I will speak my truth.
Heart: I will love unconditionally and forgive.
Solar Plexus: I will trust my gut.
Sacral: I will express my creativity.
Root: I will ground into the earth today.
When you have finished, the full body scan, rooting yourself into the earth and allowing the light to rush back up through you and into the universe, your goal is to sit still with a quieted mind, to reach the quiet space where your body is asleep, but your mind is awake and free from your ego.
Whenever the egoic thoughts enter, you simply say “thinking” to yourself, and let them pass.
It is typically the case that you will feel entirely at peace and begin to feel the divine enter you fully as the meditation ends and your 15-minute meditation timer goes off.
Which is why many of us extend meditation to at least 20 minutes.
When you have finished, close out your meditation by committing to “good thoughts, good words, and good deeds. And so it is.”