Meditation is the soul’s perspective glass. – Owen Feltham
With never resting flow of ideas and beliefs that try to reflect upon the things that are happening around us, it’s easy to get lost. To get lost in your own thoughts, that is.
Our mind has this peculiar habit of wandering out and about. Starting here and going all the way across space and time, it puts us in that almost “automatic” state. Our mind never rests. It thinks about virtually EVERYTHING. I see my mind as a washing machine that chases a thought circle after circle till the new program starts and it repeats again and again.
My mind also reminds me of a blender. It analyses and “chops” all the possible outcomes of a situation long gone in the past. Then emotions tag along and there comes that raving party in my head. From happy to depressed, it takes a single moment sometimes. And my mind is free to consider both ways whenever it feels like it. It’s tiring.
We have many things on our minds. It wonders constantly and it’s okay. It cannot be otherwise. What we need to remember is that there are scientifically proven ways to keep it grounded and focused. One of those ways is to practice meditation daily. This is what I do 2 times a day and I like the results. Let me share with you 2 first things to know about meditation. Then, in the following post, I will be sharing my personal experience on meditation technics.
How to Meditate. 2 First Things to Consider
The main goal of meditation is to learn to quiet your mind bringing it peace and to learn to keep it focused. Then, after more practice to elevate your mindfulness and awareness to a higher level. We can meditate anywhere and at any time we want by accessing that special place of peace, calmness, and tranquility we all have in our mind. And it doesn’t matter what’s happening around us at that time. Find the most comfortable time in your day for meditation. It can be 5-10 minutes in the morning and before drifting into a sleep. Whatever time suits you most, meditate!
1. No Vacuum Space Needed. Just Focused
I had countless teachers of meditation to this date. They all come from different backgrounds and they have different life stories, techniques, and experiences…
When I first considered trying meditation I had a completely wrong idea about it. I thought that it will teach me NOT TO THINK at all. I thought that it’s about establishing some sort of a vacuum space in my mind and getting rid off all the thoughts at once. Especially the disturbing thoughts that are capable of raising a huge storm of emotions making the whole thing spin out of control. I was wrong. Wrong-wrong-wrong!
So there I was years ago sitting in a meditation class fruitlessly trying to tackle down my thoughts. I was growing impatient. I couldn’t sit without moving due to sheer annoyance. The thoughts kept flowing in. And I thought I failed miserably trying to take them all down like a shooter who shoots plates.
So instead of tranquility and peace, all I got from that session was irritation, annoyance and impatience mounting on one another.
My teacher of meditation saw my struggles. So she came by to me after the class to ask how I was doing. I shared my trouble and I remember her kind smile while she was listening to me. “Don’t be upset” – she said. “It is a classic pitfall we all faced or are facing from time to time. But you know what? It is not about creating a vacuum in your mind, no. It’s about focus and concentration”.
From that moment on I have as I call it “A theme of the day” for my daily meditation practice. I simply keep my focus on one particular idea. Just one. Without the thirst to chase another. For example, in the morning my focus goes to positivity. In the evening on the reflection of things I’ve learned during that day. It brings that sense of mindfulness.
2. Observe Without Engaging
Oh, wow. I don’t know where to begin to express how challenging it is for me to observe the flow of thoughts without engaging them. It’s even harder for me not to engage with emotions tagging along with my thoughts. It is a priceless skill indeed.
Any emotion that engages with thoughts is like throwing a pebble into the pond. Rippling effects then follow…
It took me some time to really grasp and understand this notion. Epiphany came when I was visiting the London Aquarium. I was sitting on the bench observing peaceful colorful fishes. Slow and relaxed. They just drifted from one corner to another. The aquarium was gigantic so as the understanding I was longing for.
I let my thoughts flow without any attempt to suppress them. They just appear, drift and then go away. No judgments. No labeling. Just the way they are.
Also, I would love to share with you a wonderful thing I begin my day with Relaxing Celtic Music – Morning Dew | YouTube
And this short video of one TED talk on meditation may help you to get more ideas where to start from Andy Puddicombe: All it takes is 10 mindful minutes | TED Talks
Keep this thing in mind before you start your own practice. Wish you all the luck, joy, mindfulness and peace in releasing all the tension and stress.