The day I declared I was going to learn meditation, my parents thought I had gone off the deep end and into some cuckoo world. I’m not perfect and can be prone to stress, and was looking for a natural way to unwind the mind. I was also preparing for a trip to India (no, not for an Ashram or Yoga camp – although I find travel to be a form of spiritual journey in many ways). It about understanding a different culture and way of life, in other parts of the world. But don’t wait for a trip abroad or a nervous breakdown as a reason to pick up this wonderful habit.
After I learned and practiced for a number of years, I came to innately understand the practicality of mediation and its powerful fringe benefits. In the end, I feel like the joke was on my parents, and those who dismissed my curiosity and foray into the affair as insanity.
If you’re already a busy person, you might feel stressed just at the thought of adding a new routine to your day. But, you’ll find that it helps to mitigate anxiety and frayed nerves in the long run – and in the most gentle way.
There seems to be an assumption that taking a small amount of time during your day to wipe your mind clean and have no thoughts is counterproductive. Or alternatively, it might feel overwhelming and like a daunting task to accomplish. You might think, “what? How on earth can I slow down my racing mind?”
Let’s establish some important basics first, namely, that you don’t have to be any kind of spiritual guru to learn, practice, and reap the rewards of meditation. Neither must you commit huge sums of money or time to learn meditation ways. The trick is to keep it simple, light, and easy. It’s also a way to ensure that you’ll stick with it.
Develop a relationship with yourself
We’ve become accustomed to distractions, busy-work, addictions, and listening to everyone but ourselves first. Think of it as spending some quality time with yourself. Forceful breathing exercises and chanting are definitely not requirements. All you have to do is sit alone for a few moments and quietly.
You might feel fear or other deep emotions rise to the surface
I’ve known all too many people who are professional at suppressing their feelings; they prefer to keep all their pent up emotions down at the bottom of a thimble. This also happens to make them more likely to explode should they encounter a trigger. You have to give yourself permission to feel. Don’t be afraid and letting sadness, anger, or joy come out during your time alone – it’s a way of finding inner peace. Besides, it is liberating to fall apart every now and then and stop trying to attain perfection.
How to start
Try to find a comfortable position to sit in. It’s best not to lie down since the idea of meditation is to remain in a conscious state. If you fall asleep, well, that’s another type of excellent relaxation – but it’s not exactly meditation. With your eyes closed, allow any emotions and thoughts to rise and pass through you. Start with a minimum of five minutes in the morning when you wake up. If five minutes feels good and seems manageable, then stick with it. Eventually, you may find that you want to push the total time to ten, twenty minutes, or even longer.
There is no right or wrong way
Different types of meditation exist but there no rules or governing body of meditators. Meditation is about creating a space where you feel safe and allow yourself to be. Be aware of the goodness and love within you. If you desire uplifting music, then play some softly in the background. If you feel like deep inhales and exhales, then by all means, breath.
We are different folks of all different strokes, so the suggestion that one method of meditation is superior to another is simply silly. The best bet is to find what works well for you. And it’s only natural if your mediation evolves and changes over time – as we all do.