Must be Crazy to Meditate...
When my teacher gave me a specific practice for meditation that included breathwork & mantra – everything changed! I was previously very unsuccessful at meditating. My mind was way too busy! I hate sitting there and getting frustrated because I think I have too much to do or my mind is looping on a thought or problem.
But then – because I had the right practice for me – I became crazy about meditation.
First, it gave my mind something productive to do instead of chasing thoughts. Second, it was short and fit into my schedule. I loved it and I actually wanted to do it!
This meditation technique helped me through everything. It is my lifeline. I always have a much calmer, steadier, loving day when I meditate. So much that I never want to miss. It just sets me right.
They say meditation is great to combat stress and is good for your health. That is so very true. I am more patient and more productive. Things roll off my shoulders that would normally irritate me. Meditation helped me through crises, surgery, the loss of both parents and so much more.
Sometimes I would stop. Vacation or a cold or having to get up early for other things and before I knew it – I would be wondering what happened to the easy-going me? What happened to the motivated, loving me? What was all this stress???
And back to my meditation I would go. It is a part of me now. My practice is the most powerful tool in my toolbox for living. It is what sets me straight, again and again. Each and every day – a check-in and reset.
Here are some common frustrations with meditation:
“I tried to meditate and my mind wandered all over the place.”
“I am no good at meditation; I move around too much.”
“My back hurts when I try to meditate.”
“I can’t sit cross-legged on the floor.”
“I can’t just sit there and do nothing; it drives me crazy.”
“I tried it once and the teacher said to watch my breath – that lasted about 1 second. I was frustrated.”
Here are a few tips for a more successful meditation practice:
Comfort. You just have to get the right seat. I don’t mean fancy cushion (although the right cushion can make a huge difference). I mean a strong spine. Yoga postures are great for this. The word asana means “to seat.” These postures are specific, and a skillful teacher can help. Try starting in a chair with your head, neck, and trunk all in alignment, even for just a minute.
Preparation. The right physical and breath practices help the body and nervous system to settle and get your energy under control. This is huge. There are actually practices that can calm your mind! There are practices that can ramp you up, too. But you can easily and efficiently settle down your nervous system so that you can meditate. Consider some forward folds in your asana practice and alternate-nostril breath for starters – and there are so many more.
The right practice for you. There are a gazillion mediation practices out there. Maybe starting with a guided practice can get you going. The idea is not to go on some journey in your practice; it’s to focus. That’s right, focus. Become so focused on the object of your meditation that you become one with it. Patanjali, the father of yoga, says that this is true meditation. What do you focus on? Well, your breath, or body, an object or mantra. Your teacher can help with this. But maybe try working with the sound of OM.
Start slowly. Be consistent. Don’t try to sit forever your first time. Build up capacity in your seat, your spine, your ability to focus. Try five minutes first. But do it every day. Practice makes perfect. Really. Do not expect results right away or every time.
Awareness. What are the circumstances that set you up for a good meditation? Take note of what works. What about a difficult meditation? If your mind is occupied somewhere else, why? Maybe it’s something you need to pay attention to.
Believe the science. Seriously. It’s been proven. And when it seems the hardest – that’s actually when we need it the most.
I would love to help you find success in your meditation practice. Maybe you can find a new sense of peace and well-being, too. All you need is the right practice!
Book some time with me if you are interested in exploring more about meditation or join me for my 100-Hour Meditation Teacher Training starting this fall. The course is a beautiful way to learn more about tantric meditation and the Sri Vidya tradition as well as develop your own personal practice. Learn more »