I’m going to own this … I’m a total fan girl when it comes to meditation. I’m totally in love. Besotted. Starry eyed by the magic of what it brings to my life. Head over heels for the stuff.
Having meditated on and off for the past 6 years, in the last 5 months I’ve meditated almost every day, for around 30 minutes at a time. And I feel completely different.
A very good friend once told me, in no uncertain (and quite forceful) terms, when I said I “didn’t feel like meditating that day” … that’s exactly when I should meditate. And she was, of course, right (she always is).
The first thing to know is I don’t believe there is a right or wrong way to meditate. I have spoken to a few friends, all of who meditate in different ways: walking, running, sitting, cycling, at the spa, listening to hard core metal music, listening to classical music, in lotus, eyes closed, eyes open, outside, inside, with the help of an app and for some monks, in headstand.
Meditation is about slowing down the mind. About being able to detach from thoughts – to know that you are not your thoughts. To create space and distance, to allow for clarity of thought. To allow your true purpose to become clear.
For me, meditation is sitting in lotus, outside or inside, taking three deep breaths, and then allow my mind to slowly quieten down and become still. I sometimes work on my chakras, I sometimes ponder a specific thought or topic, I sometimes ask for advice and guidance on a problem. I reconnect with the messages that my body is giving me. I always feel better afterwards.
Watch, read, grow
If you’ve never meditated before, here are a few great resources, ideas and offerings that might help you get going …
A superb TED talk by Andy Puddicombe all about what meditation actually is (and why it’s awesome):
My first meditation book “The Blooming of a Lotus” … and still my go to resource if I’m a little lost in the process, by the beautiful Thich Nhat Hanh:
When you’re ready to delve into the role of ego and how to live in the present moment, there’s no better teacher than Eckhart Tolle:
Try “A New Earth”: http://eckharttolle.com/books/newearth/
or “The Power of Now”: https://www.eckharttolletv.com/books/now/
Make no mistake however, it’s not always easy. Meditation for me, has brought up some of the rawest emotions I have ever let myself feel. Anger. Pain. Sadness. Hurt. Fear. Anxiety. You name it … meditation has found a way to tap into it. But the process helps to heal. So, as long as I’m in a safe space, I allow myself to feel all of the above, and process the emotion in a healthy way.
So where’s the magic
I remember when I was a little girl and I’d see a magic trick … the most amazing thing about each trick was always the simplicity. How easy the magician made it look. Well I have that same feeling with meditation. It’s breathing. It’s what all of us do, subconsciously, everyday. And yet, there is a sense of magic and wonder that meditation brings to my life.
I’m so pleased my friend bullied me into meditating everyday. It’s like the best gift anyone has ever given me. So if you take one thing from this article, consider it this … the sharing of that wisdom. Even if it’s just 5 minutes of conscious breathing everyday. As they say at Nike, Just Do It!