Even with the growing popularity of meditation, many people believe it’s difficult or fear they are not doing it right, so they stop. You may think meditation is only for saints. In reality, all can benefit in mind, body, and spirit. When you receive instruction from an experienced teacher, meditation is easy and fun to learn. The techniques can be as simple as focusing on the breath or silently repeating a mantra or phrase. One reason why meditation may seem difficult is that we try too hard to concentrate. We may be overly attached to results, or we’re not sure we are doing it right.
When you start meditating, you’ll notice how unruly the mind is. Just know that this happens to most of us and it’s quite natural. Think of your mind as a puppy. As we gently train a young pup, we must gently and lovingly train the mind to just be. Also in the beginning, we may think that we can only meditate if the mind is quiet. Thoughts keep coming up, and this is natural. You will learn to see thoughts as just thoughts. They are not really you. The real you is observing those thoughts, and you can have them float away like clouds.
Some also believe the benefits of meditation may take years of dedicated practice. An important Harvard study showed improvements to the mind and feelings of calm came after just eight weeks of practice. So, if you’re starting out with meditation, or returning to a practice, please be gentle with yourself. In time, you will get better and experience more peacefulness. As the Nike saying goes: “Just DO it!”
For others, when first beginning to meditate, listening to guided meditation may be just as useful. Guided Imagery will help you tune into that deeper part of yourself, let go of your everyday busyness, so you experience 20 minutes of calm. I have many Guided Imagery programs on my website to help.
Wishing you peace!