The One Simple Trick to Meditation

No matter the meditation, the point is to be not thinking (what you’ve been is not on boats). That’s what makes it meditation (also, that’s what makes my shirt that says Meditation: It’s Not What You Think hilarious!) But it’s hard work. It’s really, very difficult.

You close your eyes, you focus on your breath, and you wonder if you remembered to put your credit card back after you got gas today. Then you feel a bad itch on your arm. Then you wonder if it’s been five minutes yet. How long is twenty minutes, anyway? Then you think maybe your time would be better spent catching up on your work email. Then you realize that you’ve forgotten all about your breath and you curse and decide that maybe you really suck at meditation. Maybe it’s not for you. But you try again. And the darn refrigerator is so loud and you just can’t focus. Does it always make that much noise?

Ready for the secret trick to meditating?

All of that is totally okay.

For some reason people hearing about meditation think it should come easily. It’s relaxing, right? Isn’t that what it’s supposed to be? It shouldn’t feel frustrating. Maybe because the image of meditation that they imagine is this…

They look so peaceful, eh?

But the fact is 1) you don’t know what might be going on in their minds and 2) they’ve likely been practicing it for a very long time.

Distraction is okay. Really!

That is part of what meditation is. There are moments of deep peace and those will increase the longer you practice, but for years your practice is going to be redirecting attention. You’re going to get distracted by outside noises or by thoughts (usually both) and when you notice it happening, you bring your attention back to what you’re meditating on. You do that over and over and over and that’s meditation.

So when you’re trying to meditate and you feel like your brain is fighting you every step of the way, pat yourself on the back because you’re doing the work. It is going to help you. It’s good for your mind for you to learn to be in control of it. Meditation is how you learn to do that. It’s training.

 

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Have you done your five minutes of meditation today? Let me know in the comments!

This week is meditation week, check out the rest of the posts:

We Know We Should Meditate

What Gurus Say About Meditation

How Meditation Helps Us Deal With Stress Later

Why is Presence So Hard?

The One Simple Trick To Meditation

(Link is to Zazzle.com and oh man, they have a bunch of meditation shirts I want now!)

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How has this meditation practice gone for you this week? I really enjoyed it and the short times made me feel not as overwhelmed. I think I will try to continue five minutes per day and sit past my alarm if I feel like it. I’ll let you know how I do and I hope you’ll do the same!


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About Ambaa Choate

Ambaa is an American woman of European ancestry who is also a practicing Hindu. She is fascinated with questions of philosophy, culture, and the meaning of life. Join her in the journey to explore how a non-Indian convert to Hinduism experiences her religion.

  • Suja

    I came across ur site when im searching for doing puja’s … its very interesting and nice that you are practicing meditation and puja’s everyday…

    When we think about doing meditation , the meaning we know is ” dont think and concentrate” but when we sit and try.. all thoughts come and go and so we though we are not doing it properly.. Its nice that you have explained it.. :) ..

    • Ambaa

      Yes, meditation is not easy and the hardest part is not being a slave to our mind and our thoughts. Not thinking is easier said than done!

      I was always taught that it’s okay if thoughts arise, but refocus attention on the mantra and let the thoughts pass without feeding them.

      • aam

        if and when you get time, you may like to see gmybird.blogspot.in

  • Jitendra Joshi

    Right start is what is needed.
    When I started, i started wrong but after years got the right start.
    that starting point is so crucial, yet so simple.
    HERE IT IS:

    When you are sitting for meditation,
    it is never the body that is sitting for meditation.
    It is the feeling of “CONSCIOUS PRESENCE” within you that
    is sitting for meditation.
    and what is it doing ?
    The conscious presence is OBSERVING PASSIVELY itself!!

    once i understand this point, i am on the right path.

    jitendra govind joshi.

    • aam

      if and when you get time, you may like to see gmybird.blogspot.in


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