THE MEDITATION MISCONCEPTION
Updated: Oct 9, 2020
“I wish I did, but I simply don’t have time for meditation”.
“There is no way I can shut this brain off!”
“I can never find an absolutely silent space in my house!”
“I can’t sit cross-legged for 2 minutes, let alone 15.”
“Every time I try to meditate, I fall asleep.”
“I have tried it a couple of times with zero success, guess it isn’t for me.”
I was sitting with a wonderful woman not too long ago, listening to her explain how much she wants to meditate but is frustrated with not being able to find the time.
She recognized the importance of it, knew it would benefit her in all aspects of well being.
A little while later, the conversation switched to her sharing a lovely moment she had with her young son. Just the two of them, outside, on a beautiful day. They weren’t doing anything super active or special, just hanging out enjoying the sounds of nature all around them, the shade of the tree they sat under, and each other’s company. She expressed how connected she felt.
How peaceful it all was.
How “present” she found herself to be.
Later that evening, at bedtime, her son told her what a great mum she is and what a great day he had with her, and all those wonderful sensations came back to her again.
I WAS ECSTATIC! “YOU WERE IN THE PRACTICE OF MEDITATION!!! (I may have yelled a bit too loud, but I was super happy for her!) YOU TOTALLY EXPERIENCED WHAT YOU THOUGHT YOU DIDN’T HAVE TIME FOR!”
Once she realized this, she was equally happy! Such a great moment :)
For some of us, there is a preconceived notion that meditation demands: a completely silent place, the ability to completely shut off our brain, and the flexibility to sit cross-legged for at least 30 minutes before feeling any benefit!
I am here to let you know that you, just sitting with your five senses activated - simply being aware - is more than enough to achieve meditation “success”.
Being aware of the sounds around you, feeling the space that surrounds you (the air, the energy in the ‘emptiness’ in the room or outside), feeling where your body touches the floor or where you are sitting or lying, and the scents in the air for you to experience. If you are having a meal, you can enjoy a meditative experience by truly focusing on the flavours and textures of your food.
Meditation is the art of being. Being in the moment, being fully present, attentive, open and aware.
We spend so much time thinking of the past and the future….meditation is a way of showing respect and honouring our life RIGHT NOW. The simplicity of just BEING with what is around us.
It is simple yet unbelievably profound :)
And hey, if you happen to fall asleep…..enjoy the nap, you needed it!
Start with increasing your awareness of the things around you on a daily basis. If you are loading the dishwasher, (such a boring example, but it makes the case!): note the noise and the feel of the rinsing water, the noise and feel of the glasses and ceramics as you place them in, the muscles you are using, the way your body is moving, etc.
YEP. It is that simple. You then begin to realize that you are not lost in your thoughts of the past or future! You are IN the moment and focused right here, right now. Amazing! Be patient with it (and with yourself) as it takes time and is called a practice for a reason.
Side note: As I am sure you would imagine, the outdoors is the best place to practice the art of meditation as there is always so much to experience! Whenever you find yourself walking outside or maybe even sitting in your car…start to simply observe what is around you. That tree, this grass, that car, the sound of that bus, this dog barking, that cloud slowly moving, this sip of coffee. It is beautiful in its simplicity, isn’t it? Don’t over think it, just BE.
Keep it up, keep going with it - you’ve got this meditation thing!