Most of us have heard of and even expressed an interest in meditation but have had trouble experiencing the sensation itself. Perhaps you’ve tried many times to understand and utilize a meditation practice but for some reason, you just can’t seem to find your way into it. It still feels like a mystery! This is because you are searching outside of yourself for the answer. You maybe asking questions, doing research, or guessing what it might feel like, when all along the feeling was already within you. You just need to figure out how to access it and then choose to care for it. It’s very much like a small seed that already lives in your heart but longs to flower.
Meditation has received a lot of media attention over the past decade. This has helped many people to become aware of the concept and begin a practice. However, it has also created hype around what meditation is and how we get there, therefore also steering some of us away by convincing us we might not know how; that the answer is NOT within us but out there in society somewhere. This misunderstanding has blocked many of us in figuring out how to meditate.
Want to know the exciting secret? Everyone is able to meditate. But not everyone will be able to meditate in the same way, especially when beginning. We are all unique like snowflakes, and each of us have our strengths and weaknesses. These amazing and embraceable aspects of the self that make you, YOU, are the key to unlocking the door to meditation.
For instance, perhaps you learn best by listening rather than looking. Perhaps you feel most comfortable lying down on your back staring at the ceiling, rather than sitting in lotus position with your eyes closed. The options are infinite and personal and it’s up to you to research these options and define meditation for yourself. By committing to a meditation practice, even if you don’t have one yet, you ensure that with repetition over time, you will surely discover what meditation is for you.
Wear soft clothing, bring a blanket and put on slippers. This can be a pajama party for one! Try out multiple positions of physical comfort on a pillow on your floor or even on a sofa or in bed. Choose a position to sit or lie in that feels best for you, regardless of if it looks weird or may not seem right to someone else. Ignore any negative internal commentary and get comfy.
If it feels inviting, close your eyes and let yourself drift. It is fine and normal to have many thoughts. Love them. During meditation, loved thoughts can become great stories. If it feels scary for you to close your eyes and think about your thoughts, keep your eyes open and stare straight ahead. Using a pencil to mark a piece of paper to hang on the wall in front of you, with lots of white space around it can give you a visual focal point to stare at during your practice. Focus on the dot and don’t bother with anything else. You can also try repeating a simple phrase or mantra that feels good to you, over and over again, such as "I Am Love".
Put on a timer for five to ten minutes so you don’t have to think about how long you’ve been there. Space in! Enjoy and revel in the depths of your beautiful mind. Give yourself permission to explore your thoughts and investigate them. Do not chase them away. If they eventually slow down and do not linger, just go with it.
You will know you have discovered meditation when you are excited to practice it. You will look forward to this healing, sacred, wonderful time of the day. YOU will KNOW what all the buzz is about. Keep trying to find your unique way in and never, never give up.