“Meditation is like a gym in which you develop the powerful mental muscles of calm and insight.” Ajahn Brahm
Over 25 years ago sitting on Brighton beach I made my first attempt at meditating. It didn’t go well!
I thought the idea was to empty my mind, so that’s what I tried. About 2 seconds later I realised that was never going to happen, there was a cacophony going on in there!
Over the years I have tried many methods to learn to meditate. I’ve got books, tapes, CD’s and I’ve done courses. I’ve sat with flowers and candles, inside the house and out. I’ve listened to music, to the sea, to nothing. I’ve written and chanted. I’ve sat cross legged on a mat, on cushions, I’ve lain on the floor and sat on seats. I’ve made altars, burned incense and lit candles all in pursuit of what seemed like the illusive meditative state.
Every thing has led me closer and yet further;
further from what I thought,
closer perhaps, to what it is.
Maybe I’m a slow learner, maybe meditation is a slow process to learn, I don’t know. But I do know that all my preconceived notions about what it is and how to do it are gradually being eroded. Eventually I realised that it’s not about stopping my thoughts, they will rattle on regardless. it’s about knowing:
I AM NOT MY THOUGHTS.
Old hat you may say, but to me this was a revelation. Sure I’ve known it intellectually, for a long time, but to truly know this is an awakening, and it was for me, a relief if truth be told.
Who would want to be my thoughts?
On and on they go about anything, everything, no coherent or tangible thread, jumping from one idea to the next and all I have to do is notice, and return to my breath, that’s it.
If you are stressed, anxious, tired, and definitely have no time to meditate, then I suggest that is exactly what you need to do. It is life changing and I’m guessing you are here because you would like a little of that in your life, CHANGE.
Instead of setting goals or trying to achieve anything, stop, do nothing, sit and breath. Set a timer for 2 minutes, notice your thoughts, name them if you like; thinking, worrying, planning, and return to your breath.
Have you tried to meditate, what was it like for you?
Did you give up?
Are you willing to try again
“The goal of meditation isn’t to control your thoughts, it’s to stop letting them control you.”