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.
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:
What Gurus Say About Meditation
How Meditation Helps Us Deal With Stress Later
The One Simple Trick To Meditation
(Link is to Zazzle.com and oh man, they have a bunch of meditation shirts I want now!)
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!