I just can’t meditate!….I have heard this so many times from people frustrated by their efforts to meditate.
Meditation retreats help me personally to be inspired to implement meditation into my daily routine. Meditating daily wasn’t always like that though. For years I struggled with trying to have a regular meditation practice. Even after receiving load of wonderful advice and tips like ‘set up your meditation cushion right next to your bed so that you cann’t get up without falling over it and hopefully landing on it’. You guessed it…I became very good at stepping over my meditation cushion. My resistance to sitting on the cushion was very confusing because when I did meditate I really felt the benefits of the resulting calmness in my mind for the day. Does this sound familiar?
There are many different thoughts on what meditation really is. It can get quite confusing with all these different points of view.
One of the most common misunderstandings about meditation is trying to stop the thoughts, which only makes the thoughts louder and more frequent. The mind’s job is to think! The key is to not get caught in the thoughts. Allow them to come and go like the waves rise onto the sand and fall back into the ocean.
What are you trying to achieve by meditating? I imagine you are seeking peace and quiet. “Peace comes from going within.” Our world is so busy and noisy – where do we have the chance to just be? Are you willing to give yourself just 10 minutes every day for some peace and quiet? Try this very simple meditation practice.
- First you will need a space where you won’t be interrupted. You may need to get up a fraction earlier to do this practice.
- Wear loose fitting clothing so you are comfortable.
- You will also need a cushion or chair.
- The early morning is a good time to meditate because hopefully you are fresh after sleep and there is a quiet and calm energy at that time of day.
- Start with 10 minutes (or 5 minutes if 10 is too much) and stay with this amount of time until you feel you can increase it.
- Ideal posture is sitting on a cushion with your legs crossed. If you are not able to do this then try sitting in a chair (one that allows a straight back and your feet flat on the floor. If you can’t reach put a cushion under your feet). Place your hands on your thighs. Keep your back straight and relax your shoulders. Check that your jaw is relaxed because quite often we hold tension here. Eyes are closed.
- Focus lightly on your breathing. Bring your attention to the tip of your nostrils and notice the air flowing in and out. As you exhale count 1 and next time you exhale count 2 until you reach 7. Remember to focus on this lightly not intently, stay relaxed. Once you reach 7 then start again at 1. Continue doing this cycle for 10 minutes.
- If you find you are getting distracted and losing count decrease the number in the cycle to 3 or 4. As you become more comfortable with the practice increase at your own pace up to 7. Every time your mind starts to wander just come back to your breath and start again.
You can expect to be amazed at the busyness of your mind and all the thoughts you have coming through. There will probably be a huge list of things you should be doing instead of sitting practicing meditation. This is very normal and the more often you sit the easier it becomes and the mind takes less time to settle.
A dear friend of mind struggled with her daily meditation practice until she decided that meditation was not up for discussion (in her mind) and just went and sat every day.
Rainbow Atma holds a one day workshop called “Retreat for a Day”. This workshop will give you the opportunity to try different meditation techniques, enjoy a simple Ayurvedic vegetarian lunch, spend some time in silence and enjoy some peace and quiet. Full details are on the website www.rainbowatma.com.au under workshops.
May you all be well and may you all be happy