Meditation: doing the un-doable
GUEST POST BY REBECCA DETTMAN.
If you’re like 99% of the population, you can’t, don’t or won’t meditate. Why? Generally because the idea of closing your eyes and doing ‘nothing’ for half an hour freaks most people out.
Here in the Western world we have a pretty terrible understanding of meditation. We relate it to incense sticks, uncomfortable positions, people saying ‘Auummm’ and miraculously being able to wipe their minds blank for minutes or hours at a time. Well, all of this might be true if you’re a Tibetan monk (or Julia Roberts at the ashram in Eat, Pray, Love), but for the average human being, we don’t have the interest, time or inclination to want to so something so ‘useless’ and ‘boring’.
In fact, the more we view meditation through our biased Western filters, the more it challenges all of our ego-driven, material world, Western values.
Meditation requires dedication, regularity, time, sitting still, surrendering and lots of other things which makes us feel physically and emotionally uncomfortable and vulnerable. As Westerners, we’re experts in going a hundred miles an hour, operating on high levels, zipping through technology, multi-tasking, over-committing, and distracting ourselves with shiny glittery bling, TVs, clothes, large houses and Kim Kardashian.
Who wants to close their eyes and think about nothing? How is that productive? What a complete waste of time. Plus, how selfish to want that much time and space to just languish about. Who do you think you are?!
The irony is that meditation – or, to phrase it another way, shutting off your nonsense chattering ‘monkey mind’ and tapping trustingly into your truer, deeper self – is the single most powerful thing you can do as a soul.
It creates an inner space of calm, peace and love (all generated by YOU, and no one else – reminding you that you don’t need to rely on anything or anyone on earth). It brings you into alignment with your gut feeling, your inner compass, and hence your life purpose, helping you to avoid time-wasting, emotionally exhausting life choices. It releases you from the tiring, hollow, empty illusion of the world, and returns you to eternal quiet, stillness and wisdom.
Do you need to do it with your eyes shut? Nope. Some people get clarity of heart-and-mind by exercising, sitting in nature, listening to music or focusing on a candle flame. Do you need to do it for aaages? Nope. You can start with three deep breaths. Or a mantra said over and over while you stand in the shower, queue at the bank or sit at the stoplights for 20 seconds.
Two minutes is even better – I call it your ‘daily check-in’, just two minutes spent morning and night taking a deep breath, feeling gratitude, connecting with your body, sending positive intention into your day and showering yourself with sparkling light.
You can slowly work up to longer periods of meditation by listening to a guided CD, taking a class, or dedicating a lovely space in your house or garden to the practice.
Don’t be hard on yourself. For newbies, the mind will wander, and you will slap at mosquitoes and think about what you’re making for dinner. But the fact that you’re even trying counts for a LOT. And like anything else, practice makes perfect… or in this case, enlightenment!
Do you meditate? If so, what form to you love most? What benefits have you experienced from meditation?
If not, why? What is it that’s stopping you from giving it a go?
You might want to read this post: 7 Reasons You Don’t Meditate Even Though You Know You Should.
Or this one: Meditating Without Actually Meditating.
Positive affirmation for the day: Life is easy. I release all struggles and anxiety, and wait patiently for life to unfold in its perfect order.
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