5 Meditation Tools You Should Have
Especially if you’re relatively new to meditation practice, you may be looking for some tools to help you develop your understanding and practice. From mindfulness and concentration to forgiveness and compassion, there are many different kinds of meditation. There are even more tools out there online and in real life for learning how to meditate. Here are five tools we have found useful in our own meditation practice!
Guided meditations are perhaps the best way to learn to meditate. With guidance, you can learn new meditation techniques, stay on track, and find encouragement to return to the present-time experience. You can find guided meditations online on almost any topic, and eventually learn what works for you. There are some meditations that are just a few minutes long, while others last 30 or 45 minutes. One Mind Dharma has a great collection of guided meditation CD’s and also offers daily guided meditation emails!
Zafu and Zabuton
If you want to develop a meditation practice, you’re going to need a zafu and zabuton. These are a meditation cushion and the padding underneath. Having your own dedicated cushion for meditation can help you to feel centered when you go to practice. Rather than meditating in bed (where your mind may think it is time to go to sleep) or on the couch, you can sit on your cushion as your dedicated meditation space. Over time, your mind will associate this space with mindfulness and presence.
A Community to Sit With
This may seem like a weird thing to include in a list of tools, and we’re not saying you should use people. However, a community to practice with can make a huge difference! The community, or sangha, is one of the three jewels, or things toward which we turn in order to grow. Connecting with others who meditate can help us learn, encourage us to grow and practice, and give us the opportunity to find like-minded people. There are websites like FindASit.com where you can find local meditation groups in your area, and you can always search sites like Meetup for more groups!
There are tons of great meditation apps out there, and we encourage you to check them out. However, Insight Timer is by far our favorite meditation app. Insight Timer has a ton of super useful features. There are thousands and thousands of free guided meditations from thousands of different teachers from different traditions. There is a great meditation timer, and you can track your statistics and patterns. There’s also a social function where you can join groups, connect with other meditators, and learn from each other. The app is really the best one out there in our opinion, and there’s so much you can do with it to help your meditation practice.
Finally, we have Tricycle Magazine. Like the meditation apps, there are many options out there for mindfulness and meditation magazines. Many of them are great, but Tricycle is our favorite. With great stories about Buddhism, pragmatic pieces on bringing principles to daily life, and offerings from some of the top teachers and minds in the world of meditation, Tricycle Magazine is a great read. We love reading it every time it comes to our mailbox, and strongly recommend checking it out!