The word meditation can be a scary thing for some; tied to images of uncomfortable postures under exotic trees, swarming flies, or hours of isolated focus that most of us simply do not have. So often, the concerns I hear are quite similar: “I don’t have enough time”, “I’m doing it wrong”, “ I can’t concentrate”, or ”I tried for years to meditate but I can’t stop my mind, so I gave up”
Luckily, the idea that meditation can be done “wrong”, or that it takes a lot of time and effort are simply myths that I intend to squash, and say there is hope for you yet. The desire alone for inner peace and freedom from stress is a big step, and by taking it, you are already well on your way to meditative awareness and mental clarity.
If I learned one thing from my Mentor, Osho, its that there are zillions of ways to develop meditative awareness, and they do not have to include uncomfortable postures or loads of unnecessary time.
To simply be here in this moment, that is the goal. To be here now with whatever is going on. Feeling pain, feeling pleasure, and even thinking can be going on while you are here now and watching – while you are witnessing it all from your seat of stillness.
There are countless ways and opportunities to invite in more awareness, such as:
- Slowing Down
- Lying down
- Noticing your surroundings
- Sincere listening
- Dancing or working out
- While in a moving vehicle, as a passenger
- Washing up
- Making love
What sabotages this process most is judgement, guilt, comparison, and forcing. When we release this, and find the compassion and patience to stick it out and to stay curious, we reach the inner stillness.
Here are some easy steps you can take, to begin cultivating more awareness into your day:
- set yourself up for success by keeping the attention on yourself, eg walking- be alone, sitting – make sure there are not going to be any distractions like your phone ringing or having to answer the doorbell
- Try lying down with the upper body raised, this will help relax you while keeping you more attentive
- Remember that sleep is more important than meditating. If when you are sitting or lying down, the body needs to sleep, let it, watch as this happens and enjoy without guilt
- Get accustomed to taking your attention inside your body many times a day
- Notice your surroundings, see them, feel them, appreciate them.
- Notice if there is fighting or trying going on inside; discomfort, thoughts, emotions: notice, and do nothing. Simply allow them to be there, without judgement.
- keep coming back to the body, and taking your attention inside.
- Create your own mantra – mine would be “Now, now, now.”
- While inside, notice your breathing, allow it to be as it is
- Find the gratitude for simply being alive, for all the blessings in your life and feel the energy of that flowing through your body, and let it heal you