Did you ever try to meditate regularly and gave up again? When I started meditation I was rather confused, there are so many methods out there and it was hard to find one working for me. I even travelled to India and did a 10 day silent Vipassana meditation retreat, which was the most challenging yet also a really blissful experience. I would sit up to 9 hours per day with my fellow meditators in silence. But when I came home from India pretty soon the discipline faded and it’s been quite a journey for me to finally create my own practice. What I learned is that we have to let go of some myths and concepts first before giving it a go.
There are many myths about meditation which keep people from even trying it. Here are some of the common reasons I hear and the truth behind them:
1. I can’t stop thinking
This is often the biggest obstacle for people and the truth is: Meditation is not about stopping your thoughts! Trying to stop thinking is like trying not to see with your eyes open.
Don’t beat yourself up for any emotion or thought. Instead, allow them to rise, say ‘thanks, mind,’ and then dissolve them. We are cultivating acceptance when we meditate.
It’s the job of our mind to think and to protect us from harm. So what we do with meditation is guiding our mind in the right direction, and instead of telling it to stop thinking shifting our awareness into observation mode. Thoughts are still there, but you can watch them float by. Thoughts never stop, but with meditation you are turning down their volume and they will become less overpowering. The practice is about not getting too engaged with your thoughts and creating some space.
2. I cannot sit comfortable to meditate
There is not just one way to meditate.
If you are uncomfortable sitting, grab a pillow, use a chair or lie down on the floor…..if you don’t feel comfortable with your eyes closed, keep them open!
There are so many ways to meditate and some great apps with guided meditation, like Sanctuary by my teacher Rod Stryker or the Insight Timer, and you can explore to find what works best for you. We are all different and meditation should inspire you and be rewarding in some way, so you will be excited to come back to it.
3. I don’t have enough time to meditate
We often put unnecessary pressure on ourselves when we think how something “should be”. Maybe you are telling yourself “I should be meditating for 1 hour every day”. If you do, you might already set yourself up for failure, so let go of your own perfectionism and expectations.
Sitting every day for 5 minutes will give you more benefit than once a week for 30 minutes.
The gift lies in the repetition, you are cultivating a new practice for your body and mind and can start slowly and gradually to increase the time. It’s more important that you can fit the practice into your daily routine.
4. I don’t like to deal with my thoughts
Don’t like to observe your thoughts? Well, the truth is, from ignoring what’s going on for you nothing will ever shift. We are a society of pushing emotions down and not wanting to deal with our stories, but it’s not getting us anywhere. Do you like to grow and evolve? You can make such wonderful shifts with this practice.
We have about 80-90.000 thoughts every day on average. And guess what? About 80% of these thoughts are repetitive!!! Yes! That story that keeps coming back to you? The best way to let it go is by acknowledging it first!
Most of our repetitive thoughts are not of the self loving, encouraging kind. We don’t tell ourselves how beautiful and great we are, we rather often beat ourselves up for not being good enough in some way. Meditation is a great practice to shift your mind into a more loving, compassionate attitude towards yourself and others.
5. Meditation just doesn’t work for me
Looking for a quick fix? Meditation is a PRACTICE, so what are you expecting to happen?
You are learning how to bring yourself to this place with more and more ease. It’s all part of the “practice”.
We are always wanting to control and fix everything, can you let go of expectations and just enjoy and accept what is present in each moment? Can you welcome ALL FEELINGS? Can you return to your breath and enjoy the vibrancy you feel eventually, when you surrender into your practice?
When I get into a deep state of meditation, which of course DOES NOT HAPPEN EVERY TIME, I love the feeling of energy pulsating inside my body, the sense of peace and calm and being exactly where I need to be.
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