3 Great Tips to Turn Your Meditation into a Rewarding Experience!
When I first started meditating over 20 years ago, it was anything but fulfilling! I would make time in my calendar, sit down and “try” to meditate. I would get uncomfortable trying to hold the same still position, my mind would be full of thoughts and chatter, and I would feel frustrated and unfulfilled when it was over. Can you relate to that? Meditation certainly didn’t live up to its reputation of a centering, peaceful, rejuvenating experience. I was ready to throw in the towel!
Fortunately, I didn’t! I kept exploring meditation and my relationship with it through workshops, and even multiple-day silent retreats. Over time, my investment paid off. I found various tools that have worked for me, and my experience of meditation has been richly rewarding ever since. In fact, meditation has become my favorite means of staying centered and feeling that I am in the flow. It has become the foundation of my daily spiritual practice and something that greatly feeds my Soul and supports my ability to live “Happy to Be ME!”©. Hallelujah!
I’d like to help you create a similar relationship with and fulfilling practice of meditation.
Tip # 1
Let go of preconceived notions of what meditation is and isn’t. These ideas about how you “do” meditation and what is “supposed” to happen when you meditate, may be making it impossible for you to have a personal and relevant experience of yourself meditating.
Yes, there are “techniques” and some of them have specific postures and durations associated with them. But it’s not necessary to start with those forms of meditation. You can simply start by taking a break in a busy day, closing your eyes, and following your breath. That gave me a great start. I let go of the things-to-do list, and for a few lovely moments, was quietly with me. In “True Meditation,” Zen Master Adyashanti advises that our attitude is key to our meditation experience. “We need to come to meditation in a way that is fresh and innocent.” In other words, let go of the list of ideas and expectations you have and start with a totally clean slate.
Give up “trying to meditate.” If you are trying to do anything while you’re meditating, you’re defeating the purpose of meditating.
The point here is to let go of doing altogether. The act of meditating is the only act. You’re not trying to control the body or stop thought. When you’re doing this manipulating and controlling in meditation, you’re actually resisting what is. When you’re in resistance, you cannot feel peaceful and you cannot quiet the mind or body. It’s in allowing yourself to release your resistance that you are able to feel the calm
You simply sit and allow everything that happens to happen. Eventually, the body rests and the mind goes quiet. The more often you meditate, the more the body and mind get into a rhythm of releasing and quieting.
Commit to creating a practice. The experience of meditation and the benefits derived from meditating deepen and expand over time. David Fontana, author of “Learn to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Self-Discovery and Fulfillment” says “meditation is a path without end.” When you can engage in the practice without expectation and keep engaging with an open heart and mind, the experience expands and deepens, no matter where you start.
I meditate for 30-60 minutes daily and also integrate 2-5 minute mini sits whenever I feel the need to decompress or boost focus, energy or inspiration. If every day feels daunting to you at first, choose a different frequency. If 20 or 30 minutes feels out of the question, sit for 10 or 15 minutes instead. Be intuitively guided; you don’t need to figure it out on your own.
There are many apps you can download to your phone with free guided meditations. The app I use is called Insight Timer, and I love, love, love it! There are something like 25,000 free, guided meditations to choose from, PLUS a timer to use for crafting your own sit. You can also upgrade to premium to take short, enriching courses offered by the experts themselves.
The key is to get started and keep going! Once you integrate these three tips, any meditation technique you invest in will become easier for you. In fact, I’ll bet that over time, despite current appearances to the contrary, you will soon discover the Master Meditator that is already within you!
If you are interested in pursuing this more deeply, check out my FREE Happy to Be ME! Guided MeditationCollection. Fill out the form below to receive a link to the free download.
Stay well and BE happy!
P.S. In case you’re wondering if I ever have mind chatter, a fidgety body, or don’t feel like I went that deep, the answer is yes. I just allow and accept every meditation as perfect, exactly as it is. And, I keep meditating every day.