The practice of meditation is becoming increasingly popular, as more people discover its numerous benefits for the body, mind, and relationships. But many find it difficult to practice, to sit and look at one’s breath, to take the time to appreciate the present moment. Why is that? Let us give you our take on why we believe meditation to be a difficult task.
We are all filled with doubts. “Will meditation really help me? Are people really telling the truth about its benefits? I am not sure that looking at my breath can have a real impact on my life, how could it?”. While doubts are a normal process when discovering the unknown, it can stop our journey toward more understanding, calm, and peace in our life.
The best remedy for doubt is knowledge, so you can go on the internet and search for answers...but you might find too much information to find clear answers to your questions. Therefore, a better way to remove your doubts about meditation is actually to...practice. Yes, it is the best way to understand it better, get real answers to your many questions through direct experience, and see for yourself how beneficial it is to you.
As we sit and meditate, we start to feel more our bodily sensations, see our thoughts and feel our emotions...there is a lot of energy that we can experience all at once. The transition from going shopping in excitement to sitting silently and looking at yourself can be very difficult, and lead to much frustration.
A friend told me that he wasn’t able to sit there and meditate right away, because he always wanted to move, scratch...he couldn’t go from his fast daily routine to sitting there patiently. Instead he told me: “I find it a lot easier to meditate, if I do 10 minutes of yoga beforehand...it helps my body calm down before I can calm my mind.”.
It’s true, a good way to meditate without having too much frustration bubbling up all at once is to...move more slowly and practice mindful movements or yoga before sitting to meditate.
Wondering constantly about your progress and if you're meditating better can be a real hassle. We all have to go through that phase where we keep track of how we meditate and if it was different today than yesterday. And of course we do this because we still have doubts about the real benefits of meditation, we wish for a fast and easy solution, but the truth is...everyone goes through that phase first.
The desire to see progress is normal...until it prevents us from practicing. When I meditate, some days I will be very focuses, and others I won’t...some days I will feel very relaxed, and others more stressed and anxious. The practice of meditation is really to observe what is happening. If you are anxious today, then you are anxious...that is what you are and that is what your meditation might be about today. And every day is different, to meditate is really to pay attention to what is happening no matter what. It is by looking at our current experience, with its ups and downs that we transcend them and become more happy and joyful.
When we sit and meditate, we are taking on a challenge...a challenge to look and appreciate what is here and now and to stay with our current experience without chasing something else or running away from it.
Of course during that time, many negative thoughts, emotions and sensations can bubble up...and this is when we wait. We resist our desire to get away from our experience and fight our way through, until we calm down in body and mind. It’s in the middle of the storm that we wait patiently, for it to calm down... for that storm is inside of ourselves and by looking at it we are appeasing it, cultivating peace for ourselves.
Meditation can be difficult, more so if you try to do it on your own. Instead by practicing with our free meditation group, you will find it easier to push yourself up, focus more deeply, and increase your patience.
28 November 2017