I first attempted meditation in my late 20s, thinking it would be a cool thing to do. I even thought it might get me a love interest being ‘cool and all that!’
The lotus position of sitting cross-legged and upright on a cushion was out of the question for me due to being paralysed. About me and being paralysed. So I would sit in a quiet place and attempt ‘meditation’ which lasted approximately two minutes.
My thoughts kept coming thick and fast and there was no chance I could sit without thinking for two minutes. I wanted peace, tranquility and blissful escapism. Come on; it cannot be that hard to sit and do nothing.
Dammit. Not only did my thoughts continue I swear they got louder and more frequent.
It’s no good; I gave up. There must be easier ways of being ‘cool’ and as for the peace and tranquility; seriously?
It was nearly 15 years later I attempted it again. I was in a bad place, needed some kind of relief from the pain and suffering from a recent breakup that turned into me hitting rock bottom. So I started reading books and they all mentioned meditation to some degree. I had nothing to loose, so here goes nothing; back to trying to do nothing.
As before my thoughts kept coming thick and fast, louder and more intrusive than ever.
Seriously? Isn’t that the complete opposite of what meditation is?
Over the next couple years and more from necessity of not wanting to suffer anymore than wanting to be cool I persevered, I kept going back and meditating more regularly. Even started as small as 2 minutes twice a day at first.
I learned a lot about mindfulness and meditation during this period and still learning today. I wanted to ‘be good’ I wanted to get it right. It took me quite a while to realise meditation does not work like that. There is no good or bad meditation, although some may argue. It’s similar to a workout, however intensive, it is still beneficial.
What is the benefit of meditation?
Let’s get one thing straight, meditation is not about clearing your mind of all thoughts. It is about training your conscious mind to recognise when your mind wanders off and gives you the ability by building a new neuro network to return to the present moment. And that’s it.
After all, the pain and suffering is trying to live in and recreate the past or being anxious about the future. So if we have a muscle that is effective at returning to the present without grasping to the past and worrying about the future, how much more relaxed and at peace will you be.
The problem with mindfulness and meditation is partly what we perceive it to be. I thought it was about quieting my thoughts to the extent I could sit and think nothing. When this didn’t happen I quickly dismissed it and more damagingly, I dismissed myself as being not capable or useless at any kind of meditation practice.
Let’s forget mindfulness and meditation, leave that to the experts. We can do something much simpler.
In the video below I take you through the process, it is around four minutes long and I urge you to give it a try. You don’t need to be in any position, you don’t need headphones, all you need to do is press the play button and relax.
Let me know how you feel afterwards in the comments below.