People frequently tell me that they can not meditate, they have tried, can not do it and have given up. So they miss out on all of the benefits that meditation can bring. Learning to meditate is like learning to do anything else; You begin knowing little or nothing and practice until you can do it without thinking. Start right now, find out why meditation is worth doing and follow these five steps that will make meditation easy.
Recently I was working with a young woman who told me that she was extremely stressed and unhappy with her work. She said that she had no time to herself, no time to think and her mind raced constantly. In an average day she had information overload from the time that she woke until she went to sleep. She would rise in the morning to the television, took her iPod when she went for a walk, listened to the radio to and from work – you get the picture. Sound familiar?
To start, we found some time during the day when she had zero information flow. The TV was turned off in the morning and no radio in the car to and from work. Just quiet time to contemplate. We then moved to meditation. “Well,” she said, “I have tried that. I can not meditate and I hate it.” Turned out she had launched into an hour long session, could only last a short while and decided it was not for her. An all too common story.
What is meditations and why bother? Meditation is a process or technique that you use to clear and calm your mind. You can use meditation just for that purpose or you can focus your meditation on something that you desire such as prosperity or well being. Meditation has been scientifically shown to be a powerful healing tool and a self help tool for achieving stress reduction and better sleep. Many people enjoy the personal development, self awareness, inner peace and freedom that results from meditation. Successful entrepreneurs often claim that meditation creates clarity of mind which in turn effects their success.
So how do you meditate? The following five steps will help you to get started:
1. Learn something about meditation, just as you would with any new pursuit. There is an unlimited supply of books, web sites, free classes and resources available. Start at the beginning and get to know a little.
2. Be very patient with yourself and release any expectations that put you under pressure to perform. In meditation you are quieting and clearing the mind but the mind may want to keep right on thinking. Be patient and just keep drawing your mind back to focus upon the meditation.
3. Start with a short time, try five minutes, and increase the length of time over a few weeks. Even a few minutes will make a difference so see step one and just be patient.
4. Before you begin to focus on meditation, I highly recommend the use of a relaxation audio program. You can download podcasts and other resources free, from meditation sites on the internet. Start with some of these and learn to relax and then lead into meditation. When you become adept with your meditations you will continue to resignation every meditation with a short relaxation.
5. Try this simple meditation, starting with a short time. Get into a comfortable position; Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the ground, try sitting cross legged on the floor or lie on your back well supported wherever you need it. Close your eyes and feel your body relax. Take some deep breaths and release your breath with a deep sigh. Relax more and feel the tension float away with every sigh. Now imagine that your body is a vessel full of water and feel the water draining from the top of your head down through your body to the soles of your feet.
Just slowly, let it drain downwards and then feel it moving slowly from the soles of your feet to fill up your body, up to the top of your head. Feel this happening, imagine it happening and let it happen naturally. Should your mind wander off, just bring it back to the water and gently move back into the meditation. Do this for as long as it takes for your mind to give up and just be empty or for as long as you like. Every time, see if you can do it for longer until eventually you find your mind calms and stops thinking. At that time you will find that you can feel every part of your body at the one time. You should just feel that feeling for as long as it lasts or as long as you like.
Keep it simple! This is a great principle when learning relaxation and meditation. Be patient with your self and move to higher forms of meditation when you are comfortable to do so. You are your best teacher when it comes to meditation which is a great way to learn about yourself. Have fun and create yourself a little head space.