The problem with meditation for beginners
Have you ever tried to meditate? You sat down with the best of intentions. I mean, really, how hard can it be? All you have to do is sit down and let go of your thoughts – right?
So you sit down to try it? And what happens? Your mind is swamped with thoughts. You got lost in your thoughts, then you remember.
“Oh! I am meant to be meditating – think about nothing, think about nothing, thin… how could that women have done that to me yesterday – just who does she think she is, I was onl … think about nothing, think about nothing, think ab – is it time for the dog to get his shots, was it March or April last year that he got his last one, I can’t afford for him to get sick. Think about nothing, think about nothing. Look, I can do this, I can meditate, how good am I? Wow, I must have been doing this for 10 minutes already. You open one eye and look at the clock. WHAT? Only two minutes. OMG, this is so boring I can’t do this.”
You see, the big problem is that our minds are used to chattering away and focusing on something. And that’s where mindfulness is easier.
Mindfulness is about focusing on the task at hand and being present with it. So the mind actually has something to focus on and talk about if it needs to. But as you are focused on the present moment, you are not negatively chatting with yourself about past problems or fretting about an imagined future.
An excellent example of a mundane task that can become sacred by mindfulness is washing the dishes. You place all your attention on the plate in your hand. That’s it -, your whole life at that moment is that dish. Can you feel the relief and relaxation you can get by just focusing on that dish? You look at it and feel it as you pick it up; you feel and hear it go into the water. You are lovingly cleaning it, hearing, seeing and feeling it become clean. You then put it gently into the dish rack and turn your full attention to the next dish.
If you find your mind is wandering and chatting about other things, bring your thoughts back to the dish. You can tell yourself what you are doing as you are doing it, if it helps. I am picking up the dish. I am putting it in the water. I am cleaning this dish. Etc. Of course, ideally, it is better not to be talking in your head at all. But that may be too much of a challenge to begin with. And if talking about what you are doing helps keep you in the here and now, it is an excellent first step.
Once you have had some experience with mindfulness, you will find meditation much easier. They are both essential, and one feeds the other.
Things I love about Mindfulness
The other thing I love about mindfulness is that you can do it as part of your typical daily activities, and you don’t have to try to find some extra time in your day. Other great activities to do mindfully are eating, drinking tea or brushing your teeth. My favourite is mindfully drinking herbal tea is my backyard. It is like a mini-retreat and total me time every time I do it.
And one more important thing is you don’t have to contort yourself into uncomfortable positions when doing mindful practices. Though my confession for today is that I do my best meditating in bed.
Would you like to learn more about mindfulness?
Join me in a Free 3 part video series on mindfulness and qigong starting on April 2. To find out more go here https://peace.sacreddawn.com.au/rrr