Why I Don't Meditate
My mind is the greatest prison I put myself in. I know I am here on this earth to grow, change, and become the best version of myself. I know if I sit quietly everyday day I can unlock new potential.
Why I Don't Meditate
I don't have the time
It's too hard
My mind is too busy
I can't sit still
There is laundry to do
I don't have a quiet space to do it in
I have to make breakfast for my kids
I don't know how to do it
It doesn't work for me
My dog and cats just come and want to play with me
I get easily distracted
I am doing it all wrong
I don't notice a difference when I do do it
I am sure you can add your own thoughts to this list BUT guess what? These are all EXCUSES! That is it - just my mind playing tricks on me. I can, debunk EVERY SINGLE one of these - I have because they are my excuses. I have deflated each and every one of these and every time a new one comes up I deflate that one too.
Don't let excuses get in your way of becoming the best version of yourself.
Why I DO Meditate
When I design my day to allow for a 20 minute sit first thing in the morning I feel so much better both mentally and physically. Overall I perform better in my life. I do notice a difference.
It is also worth noting that yoga (asana/physical postures) is designed to prepare the practitioner for meditation - physically and mentally. If you are practicing yoga on a regular basis then know that meditation is not a separate practice - yoga is the practice getting you prepared for your time sitting. They are not separate. You practice yoga - you meditate.
“When the turbulence of distracting thoughts subsides and our mind becomes still, a deep happiness and contentment naturally arises from within.” – Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Where to Start
Choose a time. You brush your teeth 2x a day right? This should be no different. You either do or you don't. For me what works best is to wake up and start my daily routine 25 minutes earlier - yes, that could mean waking up at dawn. See that there is an abundance of time in your life. I wake up, brush my teeth and wash up. I then go right to my meditation seat. It works best for me if it is one of the first things I do - before the excuses begin to arrive in my day.
Create a space. Nothing fancy! All you need is a place to sit down and keep your back straight. This could simply be a chair or a couch in a place free of distractions. I have a meditation cushion in the corner of my bedroom. Remove as many distractions as possible. Shut off your phone. Shut the door on the fur and human kids in your life. Let your loved one know that this is the time you are not available. With this said - you can meditate anywhere! On a park bench, in the passenger seat, on the train, in your office and even in the middle of Time Square. Often my cats push open the door and circle around me while purring loudly. It is okay I just keep sitting quietly. Remember -watch your excuses.
Have a method. There are a plethora of ways to meditate. There is no one right way to meditate. The best method is the method you are able to do each day.
Here is how I meditate
I sit comfortably with my back tall
I close my eyes and watch my body and breath for a minute or so.
I then effortlessly think my mantra (a word/sound) repeatedly.
When I begin to think (which is very often) I effortlessly return to my mantra - over and over
I do not try to keep my thoughts at bay or have an empty mind
I maintain an easy effortless practice
I set a timer for 20 minutes
That is it in a nutshell. It does not need to become more complicated than that. I have completed a few different meditation trainings and I have learned much at each course but they all come down to the above practice - simple and effortless.
You can choose a mantra - I would suggest one that you do not attach meaning to so it is a sound that you are working with. Ones you could use are: Om, Lam (lum), Vam (vum), Ram (rum), Yam (yum), Ham (hum), or U (as in uber).
Work with your breath instead of a mantra. Following the inhale and the exhale. When your mind begins to think come back to the breath.
Light a candle, choose an uplifting piece of art, or listen to soothing sounds - when the mind begins to think, notice, and then come back to your chosen object of attention.
When I am out and about or traveling I like to meditate with nature's offerings. Some of my favorite objects of attention in nature are: flowers, bees, ocean waves, clouds, rivers, and night skies.
There are several courses, trainings, workshops, apps, and books that can get you started but again - keep it simple and effortless.
During my yoga classes I offer a meditation practice so that students can have an idea of how they can then do it at home.
Keep it simple and do not over intellectualize it.
Do you already have a meditation practice? Comment below and let us know what/how your meditation practice is like and how it is going!