Meditation is about maintaining the mind still while keeping the body awake. I’ve been practicing meditation for over two years now. I love how it affects my life and I think that it’s definitely worth trying.
On the other hand, I still remember my rocky start. At the beginning of my meditation journey, I was mostly impatient and frustrated. I found it really difficult to let go of thoughts from my head. It’s no wonder that I didn’t notice any changes related to my mindset at that time.
When I finally found a great meditation teacher on Youtube, everything changed. Do you know who I’m writing about? 🙂
Yes! I mean my favorite Buddhist monk – Ajahn Brahm. I’ve already written about him in one of my posts about happiness. He helped with improving my meditation skills and taught me a lot about life in general.
Here is what I’ve learned from two years of meditation:
Let’s begin with the fundamentals – what is the goal of meditation? In Ajahn Brahm’s view, it is to achieve equanimity by letting things from the past and future go in order to focus only on the present moment.
“The goal of this meditation is the beautiful silence, stillness and clarity of mind. If you can understand that goal then the place to apply your effort and the means to achieve the goal become very clear”.– Ajahn Brahm – “The Basic Method of Meditation”
To achieve that beautiful state of mind, you need to put some effort directed to getting your mind off things. Do not accumulate and hold on to thoughts that are running through your mind. This attitude, that prepares your mind to giving up, is what will guide you into valuable, deep meditation.
Before you start meditation, you need to feel comfortable in your body. Select the position that allows you to relax as much as possible. If your seat isn’t comfortable enough, the rest of your body will tense up, and that will influence the quality of meditation.
Your body positioning should reflect the state of awareness, focus, and clarity of mind.
“When you’re meditating and thinking, ‘How many more minutes are there to go? How much longer have I to endure all of this?’, then that is just wandering off into the future again”.– Ajahn Brahm – “The Basic Method of Meditation”
My personal biggest mistake related to meditation practice was being a perfectionist about it. Moreover, I expected instant results. That attitude was counterproductive of course. It created a huge barrier to developing my meditation skills.
Today I know, that the key to effective meditation is to abandon all things and thoughts by showing no interest in them at all. Don’t think about the results. Put all your efforts to let things go.
” The first meditation teacher I had told me something that then sounded quite strange. He said that there is no such thing as a bad meditation! He was right. All those meditations which you call bad, frustrating and not meeting your expectations, all those meditations are where you do the hard work for your ‘pay cheque’… “– Ajahn Brahm – “The Basic Method of Meditation”
It’s helpful to develop a mindful, self-aware state of mind in meditation. That attitude is called mindfulness – an accepting, open, non-judgmental experience in the present moment. You’ll finally notice and realize in time, that here and now is all you have. That there is no future or past.
When you have any problems with your mental health such as anxiety, depression, chronic stress, addictions, or emotional health you should definitely give meditation a try. Furthermore, it could be really helpful with chronic pain, troubles with sleeping, mental chronic illnesses, and a lot more!
And you? Do you meditate regularly? What are your experiences with meditation? Share your thoughts in the comment section below 🙂