Why is it that so many people are ‘into meditation’ but don’t seem to be able to set aside those couple of minutes to attend to the mind?
As most people know by now, meditation has immense benefits.
Meditation develops your mental balance so you can stop sabotaging yourself.
A meditation practice makes you realise how violent your thoughts can be, towards others and yourself.
Regular meditation will help you achieve more ease, stillness and clarity in your daily life. It enhances your sharpness and alertness.
In conclusion, meditation is a form of psychological hygiene.
But why is it so hard to get yourself to spend just a few minutes each day meditating?
You go on mindfulness courses, try out all the meditation apps, read about it, have full intention and desire to go for it… And still, it seems so damn hard to actually continue with the practice on a regular basis.
On my yoga retreats, I zoom in quite a bit on the reasons why you would want to meditate as this is really were it starts.
Once you have that one figured out, you will be one step closer to meditation.
In this article, I zoom in on another reason.
Fear of Meditation
There is a genuine fear with a lot of people that when you start meditating, you automatically need to give up something else. That you need to trade in your precious free time for meditation. When you add in some doubt about whether or not meditation actually works or not, you are in trouble.
In this case, you will need a whole lot of will power to get you to the cushion!
Another possible fear is the fear of what we might discover in our meditation.
I hear people talking about shadow sides, dark sides, and loosing it as possible negatives of meditation. Of course, there are stories, the internet is full of them but, seriously?
You are not going to loose it when you start meditating for 5 minutes a day.
Contact a qualified teacher and have a chat about your resistance and fears.
Even more Fear
Our ego will tell us that we have far better things to do than sit and observe the breath.
Why? Because it’s afraid!
What if there’s nothing else than restlessness, sadness, boredom and anxiety?
These are all symptoms that our minds can not be quiet and that there’s a lack of trust and self confidence that there is more.
When we are overly bombarded with all kinds of stimuli, we don’t need to be with whatever is there.
Overcome the blockages
What to do about these blockages and overcome what keeps you from meditating?
I do not negotiate!
This has been one of my personal mantras when it comes to meditation.
A long time ago, I made the intention to meditate every day.
I realized what the benefits could be, had been meditating on and off for years and I was ready for more depth. So, the plan was for every single morning to start with 24 minutes of mindful breathing.
Knowing myself and my inner rebel, who instantly needs to resist any firm rule and agreement, I came to terms with myself to not negotiate about this new habit.
I would just do it for a while and evaluate later.
The simple fact that there was no room for negotiation, even when tired, when rushed, when not in the mood, made me stick with it. There was no room whatsoever to postpone the meditation to the evening.
There was no reason to moan as I had agreed with it before.
We’re now years later, I still don’t negotiate about my morning routine and I will evaluate the results, later.
Release any and all expectations
Expectation is the foundation of failure.
We are so goal oriented that we are eagerly looking forward to seeing the results of meditation. So eagerly that we seem to know in advance already that the mind is too busy and that it won’t work.
“Oh, I have tried to meditate once, my mind is just too busy, I need to be active.”
We all agree that it takes months or even years and some serious effort to build up bomb proof muscles and get fit when we’re out of shape. However, with meditation, you try it once or even 21 days and you seem to just know that it will not work.
Wouldn’t it be crazy fun if people got a bit less physical fitness obsessed and a tad more conscious about their mental health and emotional stability?
With a regular practice, there will be results.
You will shift, your environment will shift and you will see that you have achievement wherever you are now. Stop looking for the next thing and be content with what is. It will be impossible to not encounter more love and kindness in your life, more empathy and joy once you start practicing.
EXERCISE: Relax – Release – Relax more
Are you serious about reaching your full potential?
In that case, I have a little assignment for you.
If you have set the intention to meditate on a regular basis, why not start right now with 2 minutes of mindful breathing. You will do so to calm your conceptual turbulence and to train your mind to be free.
Set your timer for 2 minutes.
Let’s start with settling the body, speech and mind in their natural states.
The body rests in comfort and ease. The speech rests in effortless silence. The mind is aware.
Just observing how you are sitting here today.
Nothing more, nothing less.
Just observe and breathe naturally.
There is no need to change anything about the breath, you just observe how you breathe in and how you breathe out. Following how the cool air goes into the nostrils and how it comes out again. Observing what goes on in between those two moments. Just observing.
When you find yourself wondering off: inhale, concentrate; exhale and release.
The sole purpose of this exercise is to relax and to be aware.
After your timer goes off, Alan Wallace proposes the following:
“To conclude each practice, I invite you to bring forth you most meaningful aspiration or your own flourishing and fulfillment, embedded in your wishes for the world around you.
Arouse the yearning that the time and effort you have devoted to study and practice will lead to the realisation of your own and others’ most meaningful aspirations. This is known as dedicating the merit.”
A classic metaphor says that the breath is like a horse, and awareness is like a rider trying to stay on the horse throughout the ride – a stable union of rider and horse.
In a similar fashion, you mount the breath and maintain a face-to-face encounter throughout the entire course of the inhalation and the exhalation. (Alan Wallace, Minding Closely).
I hope you liked what you read! If you would like to schedule an initial session with me to find out what’s blocking you in reaching your full potential, please don’t hesitate contacting me.
Rachel Bonkink – Retreat Expert & Life Coach
Life Coaching for Passionate People
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