Meditation - It's easier than you think!
Meditation is easier than you think!
There are many ways to do it and really there is no wrong way. You do not have to sit in lotus pose or stop your mind from thinking. Yes, there are exceptional people who can meditate for long hours without moving and have no thoughts at all, but for the majority of the population this is not the case. And this should not the used as a reason to not meditate.
Below are a list of the most common reason or excuses I hear as to why someone can't meditate and how to deal with them.
“I can’t meditate”
This is probably the most common statement among the non-meditating masses. But really it’s like saying “I can’t cook “. Put butter on a piece of toast and you have successfully cooked! Just as everyone can indeed cook, everyone can also meditate. You just have to learn some techniques and practice.
“I can’t stop thinking”
This is closely related to the first point as there is the belief that you need to have a completely clear mind, devoid of all thoughts to be “meditating”. Well can I let you in on a little secret a lot of people who meditate can’t either! Just like cooking it’s something that you work at.
The more you do it the more you will notice the quietening of your mind, there will still be chatter but it will be reduced and that is a very lovely thing!
"I don't have time"
Here is another common phrase I often hear. How long should you meditate is like asking how long is a piece of string. There is no correct answer. We all have different commitments in our lives and the amount of time available varies from person to person. But one thing that would be true for everyone is the ability to find 10 minutes each day to meditate.
Just 10 minutes a day will have positive effects on your health and wellbeing if done regularly.
Of course the more you meditate (frequency and duration) the more the benefits increase. So dedicate 10 minutes each day to sit and just be. I recommend either first thing in the morning or last thing at night, or both for optimal wellbeing.
“I can’t sit in lotus”.
That’s OK, neither can a lot of people I know who have a regular meditation practice.
Sit in a chair or even lay down, it doesn't matter. It is advisable that you have a straight back so find a way that is comfortable, it's not about how you look it's about how you be.
“I can’t sit still”
Really? How much do you move when you are surfing the net or watching TV? And who cares! Wriggle or change positions if you need to. It’s far better to be a bit wriggly then not to do it at all. And again the more you do it the easier it will get.
I did a 10 day silent meditation retreat years ago in India and most people were struggling at the beginning but they kept at it and eventually found a way.
A combination of disciple and acceptance is the key to this one.
"I don't know what to do"
There are plenty of CDs, podcasts, apps, meditation classes and techniques that you can use (see below). Experiment and find something that works for you.
Getting to know yourself is boring? Listening to you thoughts is boring? Spend some time listening to your mind chatter and I’m sure you will find it far from boring!
So give it a go.
Start with a small simple step and let yourself progress along the path and you will find that you can indeed meditate!
Here are some easy and assessable meditations places to stat you off.