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Think you 'can't' meditate?

· meditation,calm,live in the flow

I love this picture. I imagine when people think of meditation, this what they imagine, but this is not the reality for everyone. Meditation is so much more than this.

 

I often hear people say, I can't meditate. When I ask why, the response is often, 'I get distracted'. We all do. It's a natural part of being human, the mind likes to wander. Meditation is about bringing the mind back to that place of centre (for me it is focussing on feeling where the breath comes in an out of my nose) and when it gets distracted (because it does), I bring it back again and again and again.

 

One of my favourite meditations is people watching. Sitting on a seat in the middle of a busy street, with a coffee and just watching. Not thinking about what people are wearing (although the occasional shoe distracts my attention), just letting them go and noticing the next person. It's wonderful. Not letting any emotions or thoughts about my life or to do list creep in. Just be in the middle of the bustle and just be.

 

For those who think they can't, let's break down some assumptions about what meditation is and isn't.

1. There is no perfect post for meditation! There are some ideal poses for different types of meditation, but they are to help with breath and focus (e.g. the straighter you sit, the more air you get in and out of your lungs). If you are lying down, sitting on a chair, standing etc, you are meditating.

2. You don't always have to sit to meditate. Walking meditation is extremely powerful. Just focus on your breath as you walk or the beauty of your surroundings.

3. You mind doesn't have to be 'empty'. The aim is to free the mind from attaching to thoughts. To let those thoughts pass through. Some meditations give you something to focus on, such as a mantra or a guided meditation, if you struggle with the thought of an empty mind or get easily distracted, try guided or mantra meditation.

4. You don't need a special space, or fancy tools. Although we all like a bit of ritual, so additions are lovely, but not necessary.

5. You can meditate pretty much anywhere. Open or closed eyed.

6. Meditation is about breath and focus. Stress reduction is a wonderful by product of meditation

7. You don't have to meditate for an hour for it to be meditation, 10 minutes a day will have great long term effects. If you can't do 10 minutes, try 2.

 

For anyone wanting to meditate who still thinks they can't. Let me assure you that focusing on your breath or a mantra is meditation. Thoughts will invariably distract you, but the practice of mediation is about coming back to the breath, time and time again. I promise you. If you keep practicing, the time between thoughts distracting you, increases.

 

There are days when I don't want to meditate, or I feel jittery. These are the days I should definitely mediate! My practice is not perfect. It doesn't always feel like I get to that balanced state, but no matter what, if I persist, that jittery state calms and I am able to think clearer.

 

I'll let you in on a secret, some days I meditate for just 30 seconds. They are days I just don't have the time, or I get into bed and realised I haven't mediated, so I meditate for 30 seconds. It is a beautiful 30 seconds because mediation is a place I don't put any expectations on myself. It is a place that I don't let the thoughts be caught, or if I do, not for long and I come back to my breath. Those 30 seconds are less and less and I find myself meditating for longer because I don't notice the time.

 

So, to those who say they can't. I dare you to close you eyes and just focus on your breath. Breathe in and breathe out. Do that for 6 rounds. Guess what, that's meditation. If you stick at it, you will notice the difference to how you react to situations, your levels of frustration and so many others things.

 

I love this picture. I imagine when people think of meditation, this what they imagine, but this is not the reality for everyone. Meditation is so much more than this.

I often hear people say, I can't meditate. When I ask why, the response is often, 'I get distracted'. We all do. It's a natural part of being human, the mind likes to wander. Meditation is about bringing the mind back to that place of centre (for me it is focussing on feeling where the breath comes in an out of my nose) and when it gets distracted (because it does), I bring it back again and again and again.

One of my favourite meditations is people watching. Sitting on a seat in the middle of a busy street, with a coffee and just watching. Not thinking about what people are wearing (although the occasional shoe distracts my attention), just letting them go and noticing the next person. It's wonderful. Not letting any emotions or thoughts about my life or to do list creep in. Just be in the middle of the bustle and just be.

For those who think they can't, let's break down some assumptions about what meditation is and isn't.

1. There is no perfect post for meditation! There are some ideal poses for different types of meditation, but they are to help with breath and focus (e.g. the straighter you sit, the more air you get in and out of your lungs). If you are lying down, sitting on a chair, standing etc, you are meditating.

2. You don't always have to sit to meditate. Walking meditation is extremely powerful. Just focus on your breath as you walk or the beauty of your surroundings.

3. You mind doesn't have to be 'empty'. The aim is to free the mind from attaching to thoughts. To let those thoughts pass through. Some meditations give you something to focus on, such as a mantra or a guided meditation, if you struggle with the thought of an empty mind or get easily distracted, try guided or mantra meditation.

4. You don't need a special space, or fancy tools. Although we all like a bit of ritual, so additions are lovely, but not necessary.

5. You can meditate pretty much anywhere. Open or closed eyed.

6. Meditation is about breath and focus. Stress reduction is a wonderful by product of meditation

7. You don't have to meditate for an hour for it to be meditation, 10 minutes a day will have great long term effects. If you can't do 10 minutes, try 2.

For anyone wanting to meditate who still thinks they can't. Let me assure you that focusing on your breath or a mantra is meditation. Thoughts will invariably distract you, but the practice of mediation is about coming back to the breath, time and time again. I promise you. If you keep practicing, the time between thoughts distracting you, increases.

There are days when I don't want to meditate, or I feel jittery. These are the days I should definitely mediate! My practice is not perfect. It doesn't always feel like I get to that balanced state, but no matter what, if I persist, that jittery state calms and I am able to think clearer.

I'll let you in on a secret, some days I meditate for just 30 seconds. They are days I just don't have the time, or I get into bed and realised I haven't mediated, so I meditate for 30 seconds. It is a beautiful 30 seconds because mediation is a place I don't put any expectations on myself. It is a place that I don't let the thoughts be caught, or if I do, not for long and I come back to my breath. Those 30 seconds are less and less and I find myself meditating for longer because I don't notice the time.

So, to those who say they can't. I dare you to close you eyes and just focus on your breath. Breathe in and breathe out. Do that for 6 rounds. Guess what, that's meditation. If you stick at it, you will notice the difference to how you react to situations, your levels of frustration and so many others things.

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