By now almost everyone I know has at least heard about the benefits of meditation. We’ve been told time and time again how important meditation practice is for both our mental and physical wellbeing. We’ve read stories about enlightened sages that glide through life effortlessly, unperturbed by the temporary dramas of everyday existence. Many of us even have friends who have changed their own lives through the practice of meditation.
So why do so many of us still struggle to practice meditation in our own lives?
Intellectually, we all know that meditation is probably something we should be doing. But how do we move from an intellectual knowing of the benefits into a deep-rooted, embodied personal practice?
Some of the most common reasons for not meditating are:
All of these reasons are completely valid.
In our modern world it has never been more important to build a consistent meditation practice if you can, which is why we’ve invested in this coaching for our community. Let’s break down some of the reasons why you might not be meditating…
“I tried meditating once, but I just couldn’t control my thoughts”
Meditation is NOT about controlling your thoughts. Quite the opposite, in fact. Meditation is simply about bringing awareness to what’s happening right now… which, more often than not, includes your thoughts!
If you’ve ever meditated and noticed just how busy your mind is… then you’re doing it right!
Think how often in life we get swept away by the current of our own thoughts without even realising it.
Every time you catch yourself thinking and bring your awareness back to the present moment… that’s what meditation is all about!
When you do this consistently, you’ll naturally find that the space in between thoughts becomes greater. This is where the practice of meditation brings benefits into your everyday life; as you find more presence, ease and spaciousness away from the meditation cushion.
“My life is busy - I don’t have the time to sit and do nothing!”
There’s a famous zen proverb that says, “the person who is too busy to meditate for five minutes needs to meditate for an hour!”
Now don’t panic… An hour's sit isn’t going to be prescribed in our meditation coaching. It may be something that you want to do naturally, of your own accord, as your practice continues to deepen. But we’re not worried about that yet!
The moral of this proverb is that if your life feels busy, you should lean into meditation… not away from it.
Because, after all, the world around us never gets any more or any less busy. It is only our perception of it that changes. To do lists, commitments and plans for the future do not exist in tangible, three dimensional reality.
Meditation is a powerful tool to help declutter the only place that ‘busyness’ exists… which is inside our own minds.
Meditate regularly, and you might realise your life isn’t as ‘busy’ as you thought it was!
“I’d like to meditate, I just can’t seem to get into the habit”
Then you’re in the right place!
Meditation doesn’t require you to ‘do’ anything other than show up to your mat, cushion, or chair. This is the only thing that stands in the way of you and a regular meditation practice.
So all that’s left is to make it a habit that sticks. To do so, it must be enjoyable and it must be sustainable. We want to help you fall in love with meditation so you can make it as effortless a part of your routine as brushing your teeth.
Because, let’s face it, life is out there. And it’s exceptionally beautiful. Meditation is about enhancing your experience of this life, not taking away from it with something you don’t want to do.
The key to meditation is not attempting to completely clear the mind or reject thoughts, but to accept and notice what they are without attaching any meaning to them.
We are not our thoughts. We are much more than that: as Christian put it, “we are the deeper observer of our hidden dimensions.”
As you may know, understanding the theory and putting it into practice are two different beasts!