The mind, if its not concocting the most preposterous theory about someone or something, it suddenly seems to be working most efficiently in reminding us all the things that needs to be done or didn’t get done just when we start meditating.
I can’t believe I am saying this but meditation is not easy at all. My attempts to meditate for the last 10 years were not so successful. It was awfully difficult to sit still and not think about ‘how long has it been?’ or try to gauge the time to end the agony of sitting still!. And like most people, I too had my list of excuses of ‘why I couldn’t meditate today’.
The purpose of meditation is to quieten the mind and to connect with the Universe. It may seem like the mind is finding ways to sabotage our efforts to gaining a peaceful and balanced life. Truth is, the mind never stops thinking at all! Most of us get sucked into its constant yapping all day long. Its only when we try to meditate, we realise how noisy it is.
It certainly seems like I have come a long way but I am so glad that I did not give up trying. I meditate every day, yes you heard me right, EVERY DAY! hahahahaha. I love it. I feel incomplete without it. I am going to share how you too can start your journey to finding your inner peace.
How to Successfully Meditate?
We all have a certain preconceived notion about what meditation should feel and look like. No, meditation does not turn you into a monk and no you don’t have to be a monk to meditate. So don’t be hard on yourself if after a few attempts you are still subdued by the whole spectrum of human emotion, from time to time.
It does, however, over time helps you to notice your thoughts and your thought patterns. This noticing happened automatically for me. I can’t tell when it started but over time I just started to step back and see my thoughts. This has been very beneficial in my healing as well as creating new thought patterns that allow me to grow.
Please note that the suggestions below are based on my personal experience and therefore not all of them may work for you. Do feel free to mix and match to achieve the successful state of meditation.
- Declutter your life. The less stuff you own, the less cluttered your mind will be. That makes it a lot easier to sit in stillness because you have less stuff to think about. The tidying expert Marie Kondo might have the right solution for you to declutter.
- Let go of our stories about the past. We all have stories about our parents, siblings, friends, ex-es, etc – how they have wronged us and how much pain they have caused us. As much as it is important to feel the anger in order to heal, it is also important to let it go when you are ready. Holding onto it will only make us a victim. This state of mind will not be helpful in achieving true happiness and peace. When we let go, we can free up our mind for new experiences. Just always remember, every one and I mean absolutely every one, tries their best. The standard of ‘my personal best’ differs from person to person. You cannot hold someone responsible for the things that they did while they were unconscious. We all have hurt people unintentionally while being unconscious. The term unconscious refers to someone who is so caught up in their thoughts. Accepting that everything happens for a reason, allows us to try and see the bigger picture and receive the blessings from those painful events.
- Focus on your breathing. Start off your meditation by taking deep breaths and focusing on your breathing. There are a lot of literature out there on breathwork whihc is important for healing. Deep breathing helps us to quieten our minds. When you notice that you are thinking again, just be aware that you are thinking, watch the thought without any judgement, and when you do so the mind becomes quiet again. Start focusing on your breath again.
- Turn your focus into your inner body. I would like to recommend using the Inner Body mediation video by Eckhart Tolle. It is a guided mediation which slowly turns your attention to your inner body and pay attention to what is going on inside of your body instead of focusing on the outer sensations of the body. If you find the video useful like I did then you can also try the Power of Now exercises* on how to practice meditation successfully. The book and the video helped a lot initially, to meditate without any thoughts interrupting my practice.
A few simple rules that I follow right before meditating is, drinking water so that I don’t get thirsty during my mediation, not meditating on a full stomach or when I am starving, and making sure the room temperature is comfortable enough.
I always meditate after my shower and its been a habit since because I feel like that’s when my headspace is clear. You don’t have to meditate for hours. 5 to 10 minutes every day is all that is needed to feel calmer and peaceful.
Have a try and let me how it works for you. Good luck! 🙂
* (Disclaimer: there maybe affiliate links in this post. This means I get a commission if you decide to purchase the product that I recommending though those links, at no cost to you. Please read full disclosure here).