I’d always read and known the benefits of mindful meditation, but always thought I needed to immediately find enlightenment by clearing my head and achieving nothingness. Let me tell you, my brain is incapable of being clear of anything. I even attended a sound and sight group meditation where we laid back with pillows and blankets. Lights that resembled a running river were projected onto the ceiling while the practitioner played his gongs and singing bowls. The entire time all I could do was get mad that I wasn’t correctly meditating. In fact, I got so mad that I had the urge to attack the healer as he walked by. At the very end of the session the last gong was quickly silenced and all vibrations from the instruments were gone from the room. I actually caught my breath and was immediately calm. All anger gone.
That day I learned an important lesson. While others began to share their experience I started to get a little angry again that I didn’t experience anything close to what they had- reliving old memories or feeling far and away without a care. I didn’t share my anger because I felt I had failed. The healer ended up sharing the experience of someone from another session that exactly matched my own. He explained that sometimes the subconscious is incapable of giving up power and that the only cure is more meditation. So the solution to sucking at meditation is attempting to suck a little less every day, but in case that isn’t helpful enough I have a few more tips that I’ve accumulated over time.
Start small and continue consistently
You don’t need a fancy set up or to lock yourself away for hours. Start with two minutes everyday in the morning. Everyday. As you become more comfortable add a few minutes every week until you reach a comfortable place.
Don’t focus on completely clearing your mind
You’ll probably never be able to enter the zenned out void you see people go in to on TV and in movies. In fact, embrace your thoughts. What is your mind focusing on? Try and take each thought one at a time.
If you don’t necessarily want to focus on your thoughts, focus on your breathing. Take deep breathes in and out and count them. If you lose count, start over.
Focus on yourself and your surroundings
What are the noises around you? What are the smells and the lighting? Try focusing on one point in front of you while taking your deep breathes. What about yourself? Start from the top of your head and work your way down. Get to know yourself.
Set the mood
Once you become more comfortable sitting in silence a few minutes each morning experiment with your practice. Add candles or incense, sit in only natural light, find the perfect meditation playlist.
I’m still close from perfect myself, but I sit down everyday with a cup of green tea at my meditation table. My mind is definitely not empty of all thoughts and worry, but this time to myself helps me face whatever is bothering me with more confidence. Once you can master your morning meditation you can use your new super power wherever and whenever your made need it.
Do you meditate or have any tips you’d like to share?