Today I am speaking about meditation per request of a follower of this blog. In my recent posts I spoke about how meditation is key during times of chaos in our lives. This is true, and I am going to share some things that have allowed me to keep a meditation practice and have brought me ease in doing so.
Meditation has been seen as an act of trying to silence the mind. When we come into meditation with this mindset we are destined to get frustrated and give up. The origin of the word meditating is “contemplating” which is in fact a better word to use when coming into meditation, and least when we are just beginning, as contemplation means to look thoughtfully at for a long time.
Simply sitting for meditation, is meditation. Any act of being fully present in where we are at is meditating. Contemplation is a way we can see meditation when we are just beginning to help the mind be at more ease and give up the struggle. We can come into meditation and see it as a contemplation. Now what is it we are contemplating on exactly?
Everything really, or nothing at all. We can start by closing our eyes and listening to all the noises around us and slowly moving our focus inward. At the beginning of my practices I, just like everyone else, struggled with my thoughts. My mind was racing, and my ego was fighting off the silence causing my mind to think my body was aching, or that I had better things to do. This is not a reason to give up. Taking it one step at a time and not giving up is key.
It is perfectly normal for our minds to race at first, the more we practice, the easier it will get to slip into silence. For now, contemplate on the thoughts you get. Simply observe them, and if need be you can label them and say “thinking….thinking…”. Allow yourself to think, but don’t attach to them. Watch them come and watch them go because they will do as such whether you hang on to them or not. Doing this is meditation. It’s meditation because you are right where you are at the moment. You’re not in the past and you’re not in the future.
Another way of finding ease and keeping up the practice of meditating is by seeing it as spending time with yourself like spending time with an old friend whom you haven’t seen in a long time. You would struggle and want to leave as soon as possible if that’s the case right? Allow yourself to relax and breathe through the “struggle” you place on yourself. Be patient and kind to yourself as you would a friend.
Start simple, and let it unfold. Your meditation practice is entirely unique to you.. No one’s meditation practice is similar to another’s. Allow what comes to come, don’t hold onto it, relax, breathe and be patient. I certainly didn’t start astral projecting and finding my inner world of purity over night. Go to it as an act of self love. Start with 5 minutes and simply deepening and elongating your breaths, then as you get more comfortable you can peel back the layers.
I recommend using YouTube or meditation apps for starting out as they have served me very well all throughout my meditation journey. A good meditation app is Insight Timer (https://insighttimer.com/) you can download it on any smartphone. Don’t forget to be patient with yourself, whatever happens in your practice is exactly what needs to happen just for you.