The first time I attempted to meditate was in a yoga class many years ago. I remember the instructor settling us down onto the mats, encouraging us to close our eyes, and then she told us to let the thoughts in our minds go.
What??? Let the thoughts in my mind go? Where were they going to go?
I laid there as still as I could, willing my brain to stop thinking about how I wasn’t supposed to be thinking. I tried to tell my brain to be quiet, to just ‘let go’, but all I could think about was that I couldn’t stop thinking. Then the questions started to arise. Who ever thought of not thinking? Were other people in the room having the same trouble as I was? Is that someone snoring in the corner? Can you believe we are all engaging in this group nap? Why is this floor so hard? And so on, and so on… Until the instructor finally put me out of my misery by chiming in that it was time to sit up. I left class that day feeling like a complete failure!
Does this sound familiar to any of you?
I think that many people have similar experiences to this and, as a result, they think that meditation is incredibly hard or a complete waste of time.
It took me a few years before I tried meditation in another form – guided meditation. In this case, the instructor had us sit up and gently guided us through a visualization. It was easy to follow and when it was done, I wanted more. The feeling of peace, contentment and relaxation was amazing, and I left with a commitment to myself to take up this practice.
I have studied different types of meditation since then, including Transcendental Meditation, Mindfulness Meditation and Zazen. All of it has a similar purpose although they all come at it in different ways. The purpose is to allow your body, mind and spirit to align. When they do, there is a feeling of one-ness, calm, peace and contentment.
There is an art to meditation, and I have reaped the benefits and rewards that it offers. Because of my experience, I strongly recommend daily meditation to my clients. The health benefits are numerous.
If meditation is something you are interested in pursuing, practicing or learning more about, then I encourage you to attend our next Unselfish Sundays workshop, The Art of Meditation. Led by Marjatta Moimas. For more details, check on our website and Facebook page.