3 Keys To Effective Meditation

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Enlightenment_Tyler_SpanglerIllustrated by Tyler Spangler.
I’ve meditated every day for the past decade. I owe my happiness, health, and life to this one simple tool. Through my meditation I have overcome life-threatening addictions, transformed my darkest fears, and heightened my intuition. My daily meditation practice has given me an internal power that supports all that I bring forth in the world.

The renowned spiritual leader and meditation teacher Deepak Chopra shares my deep-rooted enthusiasm for meditation. As he puts it: “If you were to ask me what the most important experience of my life has been, I would say it was learning to meditate. Meditation has been the key to my creativity, well-being, and happiness.”

As a spiritual activist, I believe that meditation has the power to create radical shifts worldwide. Our individual, personal experiences may be powerful enough to create a ripple effect, and when more and more people begin to meditate, we might just find peace and inner calm. Therefore, I am committed to teaching meditation to the masses.

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If you’re inspired to begin meditating or to enhance your existing practice, I encourage you to start now. Below, I’ve rounded up answers to the three biggest questions people ask me about meditation. I hope this guidance helps you connect to greater joy, stronger intuition, and a rock-solid sense of purpose.

What’s the best time of day to meditate?
Morning and evening are said to be the best times because they coincide with our body's quieter rhythms. Deepak says, “Our body knows how to be still; we just have to give it opportunity.” If you can begin your meditation practice each morning, you’ll have a greater chance of sticking to the routine. Carve out one to five minutes (that’s all you need to get started) and you’ll begin to see great benefits. If you’re not a morning person, don’t sweat it. Any time you want to meditate is the perfect time.

How do I handle my chaotic thoughts?
The best way to quiet the incessant thoughts that come up during meditation is to simply allow them to pass. You can let the thought come in naturally and let it go with ease. Do not try to push it away or force yourself to change your mind. Often, thoughts that come through are merely tension being released. Some people like to imagine their thoughts as clouds passing gently through the clear, bright sky of their mind. Let them float in and out as you focus on the natural rhythm of your breath or a calming mantra.

How can I meditate with others?
Meditation isn’t just a solo art; connecting with others’ positive, peaceful energies is extremely powerful. Plus, the perfect opportunity is coming up: On August 8, join the Global Meditation for Peace with Deepak Chopra, India Arie, and me. We’ve teamed up with Guinness World Records to host the largest meditation gathering to date. This live event is free, and you can attend from anywhere in the world. Sign up here.

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Gabrielle Bernstein is many things — a teacher, a writer, a yogi, a businesswoman, and a butt-kicking life coach. Her books and videos on meditation and spirituality are all about one thing: living a life you're psyched about. We're thrilled to share her tips, tricks, and words of wisdom here. This is a guru we can get behind.