When I first heard of meditation, the thought of a silent mind sounded impossibly ridiculous! Even in this very moment the amount of ideas and thoughts going through my mind make it seem impossible to say: “ok quiet time everyone, we’re going to meditate!” Like how can anyone possibly do that??
I understood the concept, even thought it would be lovely, because quite frankly my mind (and I’m sure yours) is an exhausting place to be at times! But it was the “how” part that had me stumped! I, of course, took to the internet in an effort to figure out the “right” way!
The problem for me is that there are so many ways to meditate! Such as a guided group, or youtube video, using your breath, gazing into a candle, chanting a mantra, or music meditation, where the music is not understood by the conscious brain but draws someone into a dizzying state of relaxation. Not only that, but figuring out how to sit, and how you should sit. Do I need a whole comfy pillow set up? Maybe it’s better to lie down? Once you have that figured out, you can’t be distracted by outdoor sounds, the kids, the door bell, the phone ringing, or your feet falling asleep!
One day the realization came to me… I was over thinking this whole meditation thing! These words crossed my computer screen and changed my thought process: “If you can breathe, you can meditate.” Meditating is only being quiet with yourself and listening to your breath. I have a creative mind, so for me it really helped when I gave my breath a colour and visualized it going in and out of my body. Yes, thoughts came to me but I did what I was suggested to, and stopped judging and shushing my thoughts. Instead I pictured them as clouds floating by, observed them for a moment, and then guided myself back to my colorful breathing.
This practice, (and it does take practice!), basically helped me to become the observer of my thoughts, feelings, and emotions so that I am no longer controlled by them. Just try saying these words out loud: “I am going to be the observer of my thoughts, feelings and emotions. I am not going to judge them, question them, doubt them, or anything! I am only going to watch them float by and allow my body to receive cleansing breaths.”
Then something amazing happens! You allow parts of you to come to surface that usually get drowned out by that constant chatter. You’ve now opened yourself up and made room for new ideas, new emotions, new beliefs. However it happens, trust me when I say: it’s a real thing!
In a nutshell, we live very busy lives and sometimes we are like hamsters in a wheel! That is not only exhausting but limiting! We miss out on experiences because we are so focused on running the wheel with the false belief that it’s taking us somewhere.
I encourage you to begin a practice of meditation. Start with 5 minutes and build up to make it a daily practice. It will become a moment that you not only look forward to, but also a moment you will cherish.
Lastly, there is no “right” way, there is only your way. You can practice anywhere, anytime, anyway you like!