Are you frustrated by your in-ability to meditate? I was too for many years and still is very often. But here is what I learn about starting a meditation practice.
1 – The monkey-mind is normal
Do you experience even more mental distractions as soon as you sit down to meditate? It’s like a flood of ideas and information pours in suddenly when you couldn’t remember what you needed to do two minutes ago.
Frustrating I know! Even more so, when you are trying to meditate to get clarity and find answers and you’ve been told they occur when the mind is still and quiet….
Persistence and patience are key. Even if you spend 5 minutes every day observing your monkey-mind, eventually it will quiet down. The best thing is to observe it and not engage it. Allow it to be there. Don’t get upset or impatient with yourself.
2 – Do it when it feels right
I don’t know how many years I wasted not meditating because I was ‘trying’ to do it at 6 am.
I’m not a morning person. I tried for many years and it left me frustrated every time. I’m amazed at how some people can wake up at 5 am and start exercising and meditating. If this is you, thumbs up! If not, don’t bang your head on the wall – it doesn’t work for everyone and it’s OK.
For me, meditating and setting my day when I start waking up while I am still in bed is the best way I have found to meditate regularly.
I also meditate while I walk, take a shower or a bath, in the evening or when I feel I need to take a pause.
What is important is not when or how long you meditate, but that you do it consistently.
3 – Find the meditation that works for you
For myself, I found that an active type of meditation like Shamanic Journeying was easier than passive meditation such as emptying the mind.
You may find that guided meditation or binaural beats is what works best for you. Or many using a mala necklace (or bracelet) and repeating a mantra helps you focus more easily.
The goal is to try different types a few times and see if one resonates more than the other.
Also, if you can find a good group meditation it may help you achieve an alternate state of consciousness more easily.
4 – You don’t need to sit!
Being uncomfortable doesn’t help you meditate. So if trying to get your spine straight and your fingers in X position pains you, find another position!
Laying down is a good way to be comfortable and in a position that facilitates energy flow. Yes, you are more prone to falling asleep. I read somewhere about raising an arm in the air, so if your arm falls down from falling asleep it will wake you up… You can give this a try.
Standing up and rocking or dancing is another way. Just flow with your body. It will help you stay grounded and help you connect with your body.
Sometimes you need some tools to help you get into a meditative state. Stay tuned for the next blog as I will share my best tools for meditation.
If you are in the Greater Vancouver area, you may join us for Meditation & Group Healing or Shamanic Journeying. Click here for a list of upcoming events.