We all get to that stale point in meditation (or give up altogether), and wonder whether it’s working or not. Your meditation may not be working for you, so it’s important to know what you expect from this discipline. Sometimes people witness the peace and tranquility of yogis and think this is what meditation is about. But, in essence, if your life isn’t one of a yogi, then your meditation practice needs to fit into the lifestyle you have. (See our Golden Light meditation at the end.)
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is a form of relaxation for the mind. It isn’t about changing who we are or becoming something better. It’s not about emptying the mind or becoming open to suggestion. It’s simply being present and relaxed. So are you relaxed and inspired throughout the day?
Meditating on a mountain-top isn’t an option for most people (even though it would be nice sometimes). So it’s good to know that meditation can be done nearly anywhere, whether at home, outdoors, in an office, at a cafe and even waiting in line. When practiced regularly, meditation can become a really loving, nurturing, clarifying experience.
Soul Benefits of Meditation
Relaxation has many benefits for our mind, body and soul. There is a feeling of connection and belonging to the greater Universe; and it helps return balance to the body, clarity to the mind and freedom for the soul. The natural consequence of these benefits is that we gain a more balanced perspective on life and make better choices for ourselves.
There are many ways to relax, like walking through nature or petting the dog and cat, but intentional meditation on a regular basis, creates a pattern which activates triggers of wellbeing. These triggers are a bridge that take us instantly from where we are now to feeling empowered. It may not be Nirvana the first or the second time, but it’s worth the persistence.
Kickstart Your Meditation
Patterns of Relaxation.
We create patterns from the time we are born to the time we leave this planet. When we’re shown respect, we develop a pattern of respect. When we experience optimism, we develop a pattern of optimism. Similarly, when we’re exposed to worry and anxiety, we gain patterns of worry and anxiety. Through meditation, we can develop patterns of peace, harmony and an inner connection. Practiced regularly, we can override the unwanted patterns and feel in control of our lives.
Develop Some Triggers.
Triggers provoke memories and transport us instantly and inwardly to a particular time and place. We have triggers for many things in life. It can be a smell that brings back a memory, a song that reminds us of times past or a person that triggers memories of another. Meditation practice can trigger a peaceful mind, a harmonious body and a connection with soul. The trigger can be many things but often focused breathing or counting from 10-1 will become the trigger. A meditation trigger can be used anywhere, anytime.
How to Handle Wandering Thoughts.
When we try to empty our minds and stop the thoughts that are busy in our heads, more thoughts flood in to take their place. It is often much easier to redirect our thoughts than it is to empty our minds. For this reason, A. Using a guided meditation gives something to focus on that is moving and changing, and B. Gently witness thoughts pass by as if an observer, then bring the focus back to the guided meditation.
Tried it Once.
Don’t give up. It just means old patterns are more dominant. We develop patterns for everything, including how to think. So when our mind has been busy over and over again, we develop patterns of busyness. To override these patterns, we need to develop a new one. Every new pattern takes practice. It needs to make an impression. So the three factors for success with meditation are: A. Being gentle with yourself. B. Bringing thoughts back to the task as often as needed. C. Regular practice and persistence.
It’s called ‘Meditation Practice’.
Not meditation mastery or a fleeting meditation or a time of meditation. Meditation is a practiced skill. Just like any skill, there will be days when it’s easier than others to meditate. This doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with us or that we’re failing. Life changes and so do the patterns we create. Nothing ever stays the same and neither will your meditation practices.
Begin With Just Two Minutes
We all have our favorite guided meditations. I have some that work for different occasions. Those that build a bridge to empowerment and those that just tweak how I’m feeling, so that I can feel aligned once more. Then there are those that give me that boost of energy needed after a long flight. Download them and add them to your phone so they are available anytime. (Our Free audio meditations here.)
There are many ways to meditate, but to begin a new pattern, just doing a little, but often is surprisingly beneficial. Using a deep yoga breath, focus for two minutes. Doing this six times a day is much more effective than trying to sit for 30 minutes and getting frustrated with a wandering mind. For two minutes, you can even retreat to the bathroom at work or take a break outside and focus on your breathing. Once this becomes easy, the pattern has begun, so the time can be extended.
The word mindfulness seems to have bridged a gap. Where people saw meditation practices as something that breached religion or was difficult to master, mindfulness has made it sound simple. Because it is. Mindfulness is all about focusing inward, being in the present moment and allowing yourself to relax.
Any new patterns of relaxation will be of benefit in every area of life, whether health, wealth or relationships, so persist, breathe and keep moving forward. You’ll enjoy the clarity you receive and the relaxed way your mind processes what were once complex problems.
Golden Light Meditation
To kickstart your meditation, add the Golden Light meditation to your daily routine. It’s easy and very effective at dissolving resistance.