Lately, some have asked me “why is meditation not working out for me?” or “how do I meditate better?” Being an advocate of the practice, I realize these are common queries and important matters to be addressed. Hence I write this article, with the intention of clearing up certain misunderstandings, common during early stages of practicing meditation.
Foremost, know that you’re not alone. It’s usual for a beginner to feel that they are not doing it right or making any progress. Meditation is subjective and unique for each individual. To start with, we need to acknowledge that we are striving for an experience, beyond our expectations and unlike others.
Often it is our notion of the art that causes us to fail. We think meditation is about visions, flow of energy or hearing voices and realize it’s false. The process was uneventful or even boring. We then summarize that nothing had happened.
In fact the practice of meditation is supposed to be uneventful. Also, something did happenMeditation can be paradoxical; when we say nothing is happening, something unusual yet familiar has occurred in one’s life. It’s like, moving in a direction opposite to where our mind is headed. Instead of looking out, we’re looking in and advocating emotional detachment
Therefore having said all, here are some pointers I hope, you will find useful.
Focus on the context instead of content:
Our focus is always on thoughts, emotions and images playing in our heads. However, the central theme of meditation is to be aware of the space or silence behind them. This is to help sharpen our focus. For example when “counting breaths” our focus should not be on the task of breathing or counting, but on everything around. This includes being aware of our breathing process, the sounds around us etc. Our goal is to develop an intensive consciousness of our surroundings.
Try out different practices:
Different techniques work for different individuals. When I started, I could not focus using the simple mantras. So, I experimented with different techniques and succeeded with a demanding exercise whereby I visualized the different bodily sensations and phases. In doing so, I was too engrossed with the visualization that my mind was able to calm down. But over the years and with practice, I could attain a meditative state easily through mantras and simple mental exercises. Thus, try till you find the right practice.
Meditation takes time.
Meditation requires time and practice. As mentioned, the goal is to be “aware of the process”. Though it sounds vague, the value lies in the practice and experience of meditating. As I tell all, the key to achieving progress is to practice and not to “try too hard.” Even a simple act of sitting comfortably and closing eyes to create an awareness of the surroundings is progress by itself.
Be aware of resistance:
For beginners meditation can seem boring and silly. This is quite common. For years, we’ve kept ourselves busy doing the most inconsequential tasks like checking the phone for messages, or being addicted to the net that we find it odd to do “nothing”. We’ve been distracted for so long, that learning to be aware may seem like a totally different experience. Therefore, until you’ve mastered the art, meditation may seem unnatural to you.
There’s a short cut
Try the brainwave entrainment technology as a shortcut. It uses different frequencies to lull our brain into a deep relaxed state. All you need is a pair of headphones, an audio and you can achieve a tranquil state by listening with your eyes closed.
For simple understanding of the technology, let me explain about the different brainwaves. During the day we are conscious, alert and active i.e. a beta state. As we relax, we experience an alpha brainwave state. Though we can attain this state through focused meditation, it will be inconsistent and may shift between the alpha and beta states. The state theta is deeper than alpha and can be achieve only by experienced practitioners. A beginner attains this state only when about to sleep or asleep. Lastly is the delta stage, which even experienced individuals have trouble with.
The brainwave technology helps one to drift into the alpha or theta state without much effort or conscious practice. The technology also stimulates the release of various mood altering neuro-chemicals and enhances development all within a short span of time. However, to improve focus and discipline, one relies on the regular form of meditation.
To conclude, I encourage you to be patient and pursue the path of meditation, despite the resistance you face. Meditation can help unveil your true self and is scientifically proven to be effective for one’s development. Thus, stay true to the art and reap the benefits!
About the Author:
Ashton is a life coach and the founder of Brainwavelove – an embodiment of his desire to help people find practical, effective ways for manifesting their dreams, and experiencing success in all realms of life. Ashton likes to go the extra mile to assist people in their journey, so his latest Free E-book Missing Keys To The Art Of Manifestation is accompanied with a couple of weeks of free video coaching, and can be downloaded at his ‘Change your life’ blog.
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