Answering 5 questions on meditation in this post that come back quite often on my yoga retreats.
How do I avoid being sleepy during meditation?
My answer to this question is usually: Are you sleeping enough?
Lots of people are sleep deprived and this is not the best condition to be in to meditate of course. If you can find the time, have siestas! Little naps after lunch to rejuvenate you and get you going again.
How about your diet? If you just had burgers and fries and you want to meditate right after, maybe not.
Other things you can check and do:
. Check if your room is not too cold or not too warm.
. How about keeping your eyes open for a while?
. Go for a walk, do some stretches or other cardiovascular activity before you sit.
. Check out my blog post on why your meditation might nog work.
I get very emotional during meditation. How do I deal with anger and vivid memories?
If anger arises, we usually zoom into it. We zoom into the person we are angry with. And this only aggrevates the whole situation. In other words: we add drama.
And, we completely identify with all these thoughts, and that’s mainly what makes us suffer.
Important to know now and during your practise is that the trauma is not happening again. It has no power now. It’s only appearances.
If you let the anger just be there. If you invite it even to be there, without zooming into it, it can simmer. There’s a time and space for the drama, just not now.
Side note here if the anger keeps occurring in your meditation, you might want to zoom into it, outside of your meditation. The mind can heal itself but it might need the help of a good teacher, mentor, coach or psychologist.
How do I know that I’m doing it correctly?
When you’re focusing on following the breath for example, and you’re not being hijacked by every single thought, pain, itch or irritation that comes by, you are focused. This focusing process should feel easy and effortlessly. You sit and you concentrate. What we want to develop is a sharpness of mind and more clarity but this requires inner relaxation and focus first.
If you wonder off and you bring your attention back, in the most non violent and loving way you can imagine, you are doing your meditation correctly
Is it better to practice in the morning or at night?
You can practice whenever and wherever you want. Ideally we practice meditation throughout both day and night. In the beginning it is best to practice whenever you know you can make the time for it.
For most people, setting a fixed time, in the morning, every single day gets them into the habit. As this is ‘most’ people and maybe not you, just experiment with times and see what works best for you.
How do I get better at meditation?
By doing it.
I’m sorry if this is not what you wanted to read but doing it, is the only way. Hearing others talk about it might inspire you and trigger you to get to the practice but you really have to do a little effort yourself to experience it.
If you have the desire to have more ease, stillness and clarity in your life, meditate. Sit on that chair, cushion or even lie down for 2, 10, 24 minutes or 3 hours per day and explore. You can also check out my blog on how to get into a daily meditation practice.
Herewith my answers, I hope your meditation practise goes well for you. Just give it a try and let me know your experiences in the comments below!
Do you have other questions or tips and ideas that could help other people in their journey? Leave a comment!