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 use my biological clock 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.
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 your stories about the past. Let go of all the stories that you have about yourself and others from 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. Its time to let go of that pain. It is not worth holding onto them. Only when you let go, you can free up your life 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. I, too, have hurt people unintentionally while being unconscious. The term unconscious refers to someone who is so caught up in their thoughts. When we get sucked in by our mind’s stories, we forget what we had for breakfast or what color undergarments we are wearing. Why? because while doing each of those said activities, we were busy listening to the stories that our mind was telling us. I will blog about this in detail to capture how you too can work on letting go of your past.
- Focus on your breathing. Start off your meditation by taking deep breaths and focusing on your breathing. When you turn your attention fully to your breathing, you notice that your mind becomes quiet.
- Every time you catch your mind getting noisy during the meditation, watch what your mind is telling you. In other words, become fully aware of the fact that your mind is telling you a story. Do not judge it but just watch it talk. Once you become aware of the fact that your mind is talking, you will notice that the thought will just fall away and you can go back to focusing on your breathing.
- 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 crazy hungry, 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. 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).