Meditation is becoming very popular and seems to be the "in" thing lately. There are several excellent apps and types of meditations to resonate with people in all stages of spiritual awakening. What an AMAZING time we live in to have "going within" be considered normal. We've chosen to be here on this earth plane at this time in human evolution and we all serve a major purpose to being here RIGHT NOW. It is in our highest and greatest good to know what our purpose is, of which we can unravel and understand easier if we have a daily meditation practice.
We've all been there - we hear about all the great benefits to meditating, we sit down to meditate with the greatest of intentions, and then...we realize....meditation is HARD. I hear a consistent stream of the same hang-up's about meditating from my clients:
"My thoughts just go crazy and I cannot calm my mind"
"I don't know HOW to meditate."
"I don't know HOW to clear my mind."
"I'm not getting any traction in my meditations anymore."
"My body gets really uncomfortable."
"I can't meditate, it's just not for me."
...and the list goes on.
Meditation is a skill, and like learning any new skill, PRACTICE is crucial. You cannot just sit down to meditate once or twice and expect to have extreme moments of enlightenment and worldly wisdom come through. Consistent practice provides time to wiggle through the ups and downs and come to a place of trust and calmness within yourself. Expectations are everything when it comes to meditating. If you decide to try skiing then you inherently know it will take time and practice to gain enough skill to go down the hill on your own without falling. Most people realize you don't go down the hill on the first try and know perhaps lessons are involved and there might be a bit of struggle to stay up on the first few try's. Meditation is exactly like that - the first few times you try, it will likely be difficult! Society consistently teaches us to THINK, while meditation is mostly about FEELING and UNthinking. This might be new to some people, which is why it takes PRACTICE to understand and get comfortable.
In order to gain traction in this new skill of meditating, I think it is critical to practice EVERY DAY. The type of meditation not matter, it's the practice of consistently venturing within yourself that makes a difference. A daily meditative practice doesn't look like what you think it might. You DO NOT need to sit in a zen posture with candles and calm music playing in order for it to be a meditative practice (although maybe that's your jam!). Here are some atypical examples of what going within yourself might look like:
While standing in line at the grocery store, stand tall, feel your feet, and concentrate on your breath. What do you feel? What do you notice from within?
While drinking your morning coffee, sit in silence between sips, closing your eyes, taking deep breaths, and notice what FEELINGS pop up.
In the shower, spend a few moments closing your eyes and noticing the drops of water falling over you. How does this make you FEEL?
While pumping gas at the gas station, notice the fresh air around you, the sounds around you and be mindful of your thoughts passing by.
Sit in silence ANYWHERE, at any time, closing your eyes, and noticing thoughts pass by, for any length of time.
There is a difference between feeling and emotion. An emotion is a feeling overlaid with your past experiences, indoctrinated belief systems, and attachments. Whereas a feeling is simply the experience of how the body reacts to certain thoughts without any judgement or perceptions overlaid. For me, meditation is about feeling first and translating those feelings using intellect in a secondary process. It takes practice to shift our normal learned processes of thinking first and feeling second, to the reverse of feeling first and intellectualizing after. Getting out of our thoughts and into our body allows us to experience life in a different way, and it takes PRACTICE.
Meditating daily is like peeling an onion - the first few tries gets rid of the crusty onion layers on the outside, and as there is consistency, the rich juicy layers are exposed. Practicing daily helps to expose the real you to yourself with consistency, provides you with guidance in your life, and is more rich and powerful than anything you can obtain from external sources. Practice and consistency will bring about the best results with meditation. Once those crusty layers are gone, the richness of the world underneath is worth the effort to get there.
I'll be releasing a new meditation experience soon to help you integrate meditation in your day - stay tuned!
May you love and be the light.