What is meditation? You can ask that question and get a million different answers. After 3 years of dabbling with mediation and speaking with many people who have all tried it and played with it at different “levels,” it is clear that there are many ideas of what meditation is and how it “looks” or “feels.”
I know when I first began meditating I had the same feelings and ideas many others did based on what I have heard of other people’s experiences. I figured you are supposed to feel this big crazy download of energy once you reach a certain point, you may hear voices, you might see amazing images and vortexes and meet with other beings etc. I hear all the time from people that they are discouraged with meditation because this stuff isn’t happening to them. They are seeing things or feeling things. Well I’m here to say, everyone has a very different experience!
What is Meditation?
Simply put, meditation is quieting the mind. That’s it! It really isn’t anything beyond the simple act of taking time to quiet the mind. What does this mean exactly? Our days can often be filled with many different decisions, choices, conversations, events, stress, thoughts and so on. With all of this going on all of the time, we often find ourselves living in “head space.” Meaning, we spend most of our time within the mind thinking and analyzing for most of our day. This
can often become tiring, draining and of course, it drowns out that internal voice within us that some like to call our intuition. By meditating, you take the time to push all of those thoughts and stories of the day aside, and become relaxed and still for a period of time. Whatever happens beyond that is different for each person.
How do You Meditate?
This can be different for everyone as well and in most cases takes a bit of practice. For many of us, sitting down and trying to meditate for the first time or only doing it once every few months can seem tough. We might find ourselves playing with many of our thoughts and having a hard time stopping them from taking our attention. But I promise, with practice, this becomes much easier. I cannot say what the best way to meditate is because there is no best way. But I can share a bit about what I have done to find what works for me.
Find a comfortable place where things are relatively quiet and you feel undisturbed. Sit or lay down in a position that you feel comfortable in and close your eyes. The idea at this point is to remove all ideas and expectations about what you may or may not experience. Try not to imagine what may happen or force anything to come about. Also try to not wait for “it” to happen. Simply let go and be. I like to start by just focusing on my breath. Feeling the air come in and out of my lungs and just seeing how it feels within the body. Not analyzing, just observing. When it comes to thoughts, just let them flow in and out. Try not to give power to any single thought or judge anything that may come to mind. We often can get frustrated as the thoughts continue to come in and we find ourselves giving them power, but just let it be and continue to focus on the breath and the body sensations. From there I like to begin feeling the release of tension throughout my body starting from the top of my head all the way down to my toes. This is done by just observing the feelings of each part of your body from top to bottom becoming more relaxed. Again we are not analyzing and putting too much focus, just lightly observing the feelings. At this point you may begin to feel very relaxed and the mind may be very quiet. If this isn’t the case, no worries, just continue breathing and allowing the mind to be. Very important to avoid becoming frustrated or trying to expect too much. Once things become relaxed it is really up to you where you go with it. Sometimes we have experiences that take us a little deeper and sometimes it is just a nice time to quiet things down and re-energize a bit.
What Should I Feel or Should I See?
We touched on this a little bit already but I wanted to bring a little more attention to it because I hear this and get asked this quite a bit when it comes to meditation. When I started, and even still now at times, I find myself expecting to see things happen every time or feel something very profound. I have heard others share their meditation stories and they can sometimes create an idea of what we should see or feel when we meditate ourselves. I can share that it is important we don’t create those expectations as it just becomes another mind construct we get trapped in when trying to let go and let things unfold. In some cases people do see and feel very profound things, and to be honest, in some cases the mind is creating some of these visions and stories. The key is to just let the experience be what it is and as you get more and more comfortable with meditation you will learn what works for you and what you want to play with as you get more experience. For me I have found that the most profound experiences have come when you just let everything go and don’t try to create anything in particular. Things happen as they need to and when they are perfect for us. No attachment to outcomes needed.
Getting Clarity or Answers With Meditation
This is another big one that comes up and many of us are beginning to really look within ourselves to get our truth and clarity. We may want to know what decision we would like to make in a certain instance or we may want to tune into the higher aspect of ourselves to see what move we should make next in life. Either way its important to go into the experience with no expectation of how answers or clarity may come. For some people they hear a voice, some get a “download,” some see visions, some of us have a very clear feeling that comes in and I am sure there are more ways it can happen! Remember to try not to expect one way or the other. Just allow it to be and if it isn’t coming right away, don’t worry, you may find it will come throughout your day whether its meeting someone who opens the next “door” for you or whether you stumble across something online or in a book etc. In any case, so long as you are open and going with the flow, you will come across the answers you need. We have nothing to worry about when it comes to that I promise!
Go Try it!
The only way we will figure out how things will work for us and how we can let go of the discouraged feeling or frustration we may have towards mediating is by just trying it out! If you can and need to, make a little schedule for yourself of time you set aside to practice meditating each day or every other day. If that doesn’t work for you, just go with how you feel about it and when you want to. Give it a shot and remember not to have any expectation or judgment towards what you are experiencing! Have fun with it and remember it’s about relaxing, we don’t want to take it too serious
If you have any questions or want to discuss more about this feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Would be happy to share what I can! Much Love