I believe taking the time to be still is essential to our well-being – especially today because we live in a world that never stops. We are constantly bombarded by demands, information, and noise. Being intentional about taking some time every day to quiet the mind can help balance the external pressures of the outside world. As a meditation teacher, I often hear students say they can’t meditate – “I’ve tried but I just can’t get my mind to stop.” I’m here to tell you that everyone can meditate. Here are my top 3 tips for embracing your meditation practice.
1 – You meditate for what it brings into your life.
I believe that one of the most important lessons of meditation is: you don’t just meditate to meditate. You meditate for what it brings into your life. The more you practice being present in your meditation practice, the more you begin to invite presence into the rest of your day. With presence comes the gift of awareness, peace, and inner calm.
2 – Just keep coming back.
Did you know you have about 80,000 thoughts a day? Your brain is jumping from one thought to another to another, creating “chatter”. Meditation isn’t about stopping these thoughts but about creating space in between your thoughts. When you meditate, the idea is to focus on an anchor (breath, mantra, guided meditation). At some point, you will find yourself lost in your thoughts. It’s inevitable. When you recognize this, shift your focus back to your anchor. JUST KEEP COMING BACK. It’s called a Meditation Practice because it requires practice, commitment, and patience. I call this, coming back.
3 – Invite EASE into your meditation.
Think of your meditation as being effortless. Let go of self-judgment. Learn to accept your meditation for what it is. You are a silent witness to your thoughts. Some days meditation will feel easier than others, regardless of how experienced you are. If your mind is extra active, learn how to say “wow, my mind is really busy today”, as opposed to “meditation doesn’t work”. The harder you try to meditate, the more resistance you will create towards it. Let go and allow it to just BE.
More importantly, just keep doing it. Remember that like most healthy practices, meditation has a cumulative effect. Have fun with it and enjoy the process. Your meditation practice is here to serve and nourish you. Now find yourself a comfy spot and go meditate!