Often when I say to people I have been meditating for over 30 years, many will say they can't meditate. There is already a sense that they have given up on it because they cannot make their mind blank. The other response is "I haven't got time". This generally are the two main barriers to meditation I have heard over the years. There are many more misconceptions around meditation which simply are not true.
I remember one particular afternoon whilst sitting at work on the roof terrace, yes, were lucky to have that space made available for lunch times. It was sunny day and I sat with two other colleagues talking about meditation. Both of them were saying that no matter now much they tried they could not meditate. Meditation is not something you can do through theory, it is experiential knowledge. Naturally, I saw this as a challenge. Within 10 minutes we had to return to work, so I asked them if they would give me less than 5 minutes to show them they could. Luckily they agreed. I guided them with a simply breath meditation they could do on their own an it took less than 5 minutes to take them into a deep state and bring them back with a serenity on their faces. They couldn't believe it it. One of them said, that is the first time she experienced such deep experience and a quiet mind. This made them realise they could do.
I believe we can all meditate deeply. We just need to find the way to do it. There are three core steps to doing this:
Exploring the different types of meditation and experimenting with them. I learnt that through different practices I found different meditations worked better at different times and different purposes.
Start creating a personal practice. All you need to do is create the space for it. Initially, you have a prescriptive way of organising it, as it's about retraining your body, mind, emotions to get into the practice. You may not be surprised by the initial resistance you experience.
Bring the practice into every day activities. This is referred as mindful activities. You may be surprised to discover that there are some activities that you do naturally when you are being mindful. Draw on this experience to support you in other areas.
There are the three pillars of meditation. I am currently in the process of writing a book about meditation and will be publishing it in the next year. It may initially start as e-book download. I wrote this originally to accompany the meditation course I use to offer and will offer again soon.
I believe each and everyone of us can meditate we just need to identify what works best for us individually. There is no one answer. Therefore the book will cover exploring different types of meditation techniques, guidance to setting up your own practice and mindfulness practice.
When you first begin your practice the key things to remember is that it does not need to be perfect. Part of the process of meditation is to let of any judgements you may have, as this is resistance to the practice. Every time you sit down in practice you have succeeded not matter how the practice was. The fact that you sit down and not give into the resistance is a successful session. Remember it's the judgements that hold you back.
All you need to do is create your space to sit and meditate however that turns out for a set amount of time. Your mind, body and emotions will soon begin to work with you. If you need support learn from an experienced meditator, as they can energetically help hold the space to work in.
Declutter your mind
You sit down and begin the session and your mind is whirling around with thought after thought. The 'monkey mind' will just not shut up. What do you do? The key thing is to let the thoughts run and not engage with them. The moment you begin to respond to the thought, you begin to loose the battle. I use to image my thoughts on a conveyor belt, and just watched them go by, one by one. Inside the mind there are endless thoughts that have entered and running at the back of your mind. Now see this practice as a decluttering of the mind. The key thing here is to create a spacious mind, which you can only do by letter the thoughts arise and watch they leave on the conveyor belt. No matter how many thoughts arise, you have successfully create more space already. Spaciousness in the mind does not happen overnight. Patience is another skill you gain through meditation.
It is from this spaciousness that you can begin to create changes. You will also begin to notice how now you have more time. Your mind becomes freer and therefore can work with you as you go forwards.
More than a spiritual practice
Meditation is more than a spiritual practice. Ultimately it s a life tool that supports you to manage your wellbeing everyday. It is not something for when you have time. In fact it will actually enable to create the time you need and do more of the things you truly desire to do.
It is an essential took that supports and brings deep inner sense of who you are and wellbeing. As you stop identifying with the external descriptions of yourself, you begin to create a deeper inner strength and confidence that is yours to keep, as your own. You will own this rather than have position or title that gives you confidence to be you.
You stop feeling you need to keep rushing around and be busy, busy busy. Instead, you learn to do everything one step at a time. Through this you begin to experience more synchronicities in life.
Meditation brings numerous benefits to your life in surprising ways. Embrace it and change you life experiences from a deeper perspective.
This is the first step.