Wherever we look, whatever we read or hear, we are suggested to meditate. Less stress, anxiety, aggression, better focus, mood, self-compassion, mindfulness and other benefits.
Still, many of us hesitate or don’t stick to it because of various reasons. Discouraging and doubtful are certainly public media and people who prefer to put their focus on signalising that people lack benefits or do not belong or are not worthy of a certain a lifestyle, leaving people overwhelmed and paralysed. All the more it is important to say that we are all unique and each one of us shall have the opportunity to find just the right tool for our very own need, whatever it may be.
My own meditation practice has been irregular in the past, often interrupted by travelling, lack of comfort in foreign spaces, seemingly limited time, but often, I admit, because I was treating it with high seriousness and perfection. What helped me to put things into a new perspective, was not only a profound change in my working environment, but a training I was doing on “Meditation for Manifestation”. Before the real practice started, the teacher created an easy, joyful meditation flow, while clarifying some myths many of us keep believing. “You have to sit cross-legged, totally still and quiet in a room for hours and maybe even chant.” Oh, yes, I know this one and I still tense up when it comes to chanting in public! But the truth is, done loud it is actually really nice, very freeing, but if you don’t like the attention, do it in your head and sometimes for me, it turns into a quiet hum.
You also don’t have to sit cross-legged, not at all, you need to feel comfortable, that’s the most important. I emphasise having the feet on the ground, especially when you start to meditate, as it will help to visualise the grounding. But once you are in a routine, the visualisation will surely work in any position.
You can move! It hurts, it is uncomfortable, it is itchy, take care of it! With your mind/body sending messages back and forward at all times, none of them will stop bothering you until you fix your itch darling.
The quiet place, that’s a big one. From my experience I can say, starting to meditate in a quiet and comfortable place is very beneficial to start. Once you are more advanced, you will recognise that it will be easier for you to “zone out” at different places and with different sounds around you.
What we shall honour as well, are the “in-between” meditations you can do – Taking a few minutes of conscious breath in the restroom, or a meditative walk around the block before a meeting or presentation, family gathering or visit. It is not about time; it is about a regular practice.
Who hasn’t heard: “Meditation is being in total Zen, it is about getting your mind to stop thinking.” Okay, yes. No. What we shall understand first, is the actual intention we are having. We don’t want to disconnected, we want to be present. And being present means, allowing all our thoughts and emotions and sensations to come and then, to start to work with them. We want to find the answers to our questions, we want to understand ourselves, dissolve what is holding us back, break through and leave behind what is limiting us, we simply want to clear, clean and sharpen our system to gain clarity, be motivated, inspired, be aligned.
If you look at your life, are you Zen at all times? I am certainly not and this is what shows when I meditate. Sometimes it is very smooth and calm and loving, sometimes it is fast and bumpy and cloudy and demanding. Just as life. And the more we work on ourselves, the more we raise our awareness on all possible facets of our life and being and this is very enriching for us as a person, as well as the collective.
The bottom line of this is – Make yourself comfortable and give yourself time. Honour yourself and the ones around you. Come undone with myths that are built up and find your very own place and intention. And enjoy it, in all facets.