If you’d told me 18 months ago that I would meditate every single day, without fail and actually ENJOY it, I would have had you sectioned – for you surely would have been insane! I simply could not keep my mind quiet for more than 10 seconds – and that was a struggle! And on the odd moments where I did manage to relax, I would fall asleep!
There was literally nothing I liked about this practice. My legs ached for days after sitting in the lotus position. I never managed to shut out all thoughts – my mind would always race away to whatever worries I had going on that day. It was a wholly frustrating experience and I just didn’t understand what all the fuss was about.
What were people getting out of it? It all seemed like a waste of time!
But I didn’t want to give up. People I was learning from, men and women in the public eye, on YouTube and social media, were all espousing the incredible health benefits. I respected these people and so I knew there must be something special here.
Plus, I knew from having gone through hypnotherapy, that calming the mind and being still WORKS. The only problem was, hypnotherapy can still work when you are asleep – meditation doesn’t.
So I set about trying different methods – MY OWN methods! I decided to shun all the people saying that you are supposed to do it this way, and the correct method should be that way. I’d tried those ways.
It was time to be a maverick!
Whenever I see something where people have these rules trying to dictate what is right and wrong, I always try to pick them apart and ask “Why?” Especially when they seem superficial.
I mean, what difference does it really make HOW you are sat?
Why should I care what position my hands are in?
Who says you HAVE to clear the mind of every single thought?
My view is always that in whatever we do in life, we need to find what works best for us PERSONALLY. No two people are exactly the same. What works for one person, might not work for another.
So I experimented.
My biggest issue was the discomfort. Ten minutes with my legs crossed and I was in pain.
So I lay down.
Well there are many teachers (actual professionals!) who will say you are doing it wrong if you lie down and it’s bad practice. You know what I say?
Because this WORKED. No more discomfort. Only problem was, I was now even more prone to falling asleep.
Hmm, too much comfort!!
So I decided I needed to stop trying to focus on thinking nothing. It was just too BORING!!
Instead, I VISUALISED.
Exactly as I had been doing for my law of attraction manifestation sessions. This worked precisely because my mind was doing something. I had to picture scenarios, imagine details, sights, sounds, smells…………..falling asleep was much harder.
Of course, some people will tell you that is “doing it wrong,” but……
WHO GIVES A SHIT!?
I also flouted convention by…….LISTENING TO MUSIC!
Not sounds of the rainforest or other traditional forms of spiritual music, like shamanic drums or Gregorian chanting or Tibetan singing bowls – ELECTRONIC MUSIC!
I listen to down-tempo electronica, which I think is well suited to meditation anyway (not sure dubstep or metal would work but who knows?!). I find it perfect for getting me in a good mood and giving me something to focus on. And really, how different is it to focusing on the breath? Or nothing?
What is the main reason people meditate?
It’s not to clear the mind.
It’s not to eliminate thoughts.
It’s to FEEL BETTER. It’s to relax. It’s to centre themselves in the present moment, shutting out worries and stress. It’s to create well-being within. Long term, it’s about gaining more awareness of ourselves, our thoughts, our mind, so we can bring that into our life outside of the meditation.
Well I found I was able to do all that, simply by getting into a pose that relaxed me enough, listening to music that focused me and doing a mental exercise that started to change the energy flow within.
You see, by visualising, something started to shift.
After a while, the emotions I was experiencing within my body started to intensify, to the point where I felt, on a good day, extreme states of bliss and inner peace. The only thing I could compare them to was being in love – or high on a really good ecstasy pill!!
Now you can’t tell me that it’s better to just sit there focusing on NOTHING, than to feel so good that you could hug the entire world! If I’m doing something wrong, I’d bloody love to know how amazing it would feel when I get it right!
But meditation isn’t just about feeling good in the moment.
After a session, I feel ALIVE.
I mean REALLY alive.
Like I am an unstoppable force.
Like I can achieve ANYTHING.
I am usually bursting with energy. That feeling can last a few hours. I also tend to have some of my best ideas straight after and sometimes even during, a session.
It feels as though I’m connecting to something bigger – consciousness, the universe, source, whatever you want to call it, but it’s as if my mind becomes receptive to ideas and thoughts, almost like a conductor, or a channel opening up for them to slide into.
And since I began daily meditation over a year ago, I often wake up and before I even get out of bed, I have creative ideas and solutions and answers fighting to get out of that mind!
If I’m doing it “wrong” then I’m gonna be fucking unstoppable when I get it right!
The reason I wrote this post is because……
I’ve met a lot of people who have tried meditation and hit the same brick wall as I did. My guess is they just need to experiment. Rule number one has got to be that nothing will work if you aren’t comfortable. So try different positions. I lie, I sit in a chair, I do even try crossed legs occasionally.
Sometimes I get straight into visualising, other times it’s more difficult and I have to concentrate more on my breath and my body to get relaxed.
I still fall asleep sometimes. I still have days where I give up because I just can’t focus. But I don’t fight it. It’s never always perfect. Sometimes the blissed-out love-in never arrives. Most of the time, in fact. But it’s so worth it when it does. I can go for over an hour on those days!
So keep trying.
Meditation is proven to be extremely healthy for our internal organs as well as mind and will undeniably improve your mental health. Over time, you will gain the skills of being able to focus better, calm yourself on the spur of the moment and catch your negative thoughts before they spread into something which engulfs you. You may find you sleep better too.
It’s about getting still for long enough that your mind and body can recharge, reenergise, shift its energetic state, heal and connect to whatever force is out there.
But meditation isn’t just about a quick fix for our daily stresses.
I believe it’s about eliminating those daily stresses, almost entirely. Because when you go deeper into yourself and become more aware of who you are (who you REALLY are), many of those stresses will melt away forever.
With me, I didn’t need meditation to teach me those things. I became aware through the studying I did during my year of spiritual awakening, that we are NOT our thoughts.
We are not the labels we put on ourselves.
We are not the human bodies we see in the mirror – we are the entity beyond that.
If this is something you don’t fully understand, then meditation on a deeper level should help you to figure that out by becoming more aware of what is going on when you aren’t focusing on those thoughts and that identity which you percieve yourself as.
Obviously, there are deeper states of awareness and consciousness that people attain through consistent, lifelong practice and maybe I will delve into them one day. But for now, I’m happy with what meditation brings me.
I can so relate to this. I found meditation a chore for ages but its one of those things you have to stick at. Try to figure out what works best for you and your needs. I find the lotus position works well and helps the energy flow, but it took me a while to feel comfortable. Music definitely helps too, something soft or hypnotic in the background.
Thank you so much for taking the time to comment 🙂 Even though I prefer not to sit crossed legged, the lotus position is definitely the optimal position for energy to flow and for your breathing. I perhaps need to spend more time getting to used it.