Learning to Meditate

I recently bumped into an old student of mine and she said “Learning to meditate is really hard, isn’t it? Now loads of people have had that very same experience.  They try learning to mediate but they end up giving up because they just can’t get it to work for them.

The reason for this is that trying to get your mind to think of nothing is really hard, if not IMPOSSIBLE unless you’ve got the right skills to use.  You are much more likely to be successful if you need to know what you are doing.

In the Yoga tradition, trying to calm your mind is likened to trying to control a chariot of galloping horses – think ‘Ben-Hur’ at the Coliseum (if you are old enough!).

In the Buddhist tradition, your mind is likened to a tumbling waterfall, with water crashing all over the place and going in all sorts of directions.

Both of these descriptions create a really graphic image of a powerful and pretty uncontrollable force.  But your mind can be controlled.  Your mind can be calmed down and you can meditate when you have the right structure in place and when you have the right skills.

For example:

  • A team of galloping horses can be calmed down and made to stop with the right voice commands and to a gentle pressure on the reins….whoa……
  • That tumbling waterfall can calm down once the rocks have all disappeared. Then the bank opens up so the water has space to flow, softly and easily.

Learning to meditate is easy when you have the right structure in placeThe structure I am talking about is things like:

    • Having a regular meditation practice, at least 4 days per week for 5 – 10 mins is good. If you make it six or seven days per week that would be better. The more frequently you do it, little and often, the more you will benefit.
    • One of the other things to put in place is having a comfortable posture. A posture where you are not having aches and pains nagging at your mind and distracting you.  You need a position where you can be upright and alert so you can stay concentrating on your meditation focus.
By gaining skills be Learning to Meditate you will
    • It’s having the skills to notice when you are falling asleep or your mind is going into a dull, blank state.
    • Being able to counteract that by sitting up straighter in your chair and meditating with your eyes open rather than closed.
    • By noticing the moment when your mind starts to wander off and think about something else.  You need to bring it back to your calm focus point.
    • One of the skills you can use for that is changing your gaze by lowering it.  You can calm your busy mind with a lowered gaze.
For Further Reading about learning to Meditate

How to choose your best Mindfulness position

Meditate?  In this funny position!

 

Achieve more calm in your day – Try my Nine Breaths for a Calmer Mind download

Calm you mind by looking downward during meditation

 

Why don’t you give these skills a go and make learning to meditate easier. Let me know how you get on?  I’d love to hear about it!

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