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  • Resilient Practice

Anyone can Meditate



“Quiet the mind and the soul will speak”

– Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati

 

In our book ‘How to Rise’ we illustrate how meditation is one of the easiest and most accessible evidence-based ways to improve body chemistry and enhance mood. We describe the many and varied ways that we can engage in meditation and its wide-ranging benefits. There are over 60 practical tools and techniques in the final section of the book, a large part of which is comprised of original meditations with specific purpose. If you speak them into a recording device you can listen to them regularly to address your individual needs. There are two audio-meditations available for free if you add your email to the front page - one for achieving a mindful state and one for boosting your energy at the end of the day or when you feel that you are flagging.

 

In the book we offer some tried and tested suggestion as to how you can ‘help yourself’ to meditate more easily. These include creating a safe and comfortable space where you will not be disturbed, lighting a candle or incense, putting on some relaxing music and choosing a restorative body position. This behaviour fosters the intention to meditate and when performed regularly as a ritual, can be a beautiful way to engage in Self-care.

 

Wouldn’t it be great if life easily lent itself to this kind of practice?

 

Life, however, does not always lend itself to this kind of practice. Life is messy and complicated. It is beset with timely clashes and last-minute emergency errands. It involves friends who need a listening ear at some point this evening, children who need help with homework right now, after school clubs, dental emergencies and animals that need a trip to the vet. We have not even mentioned yet those fabulous little obstacles that arise at work and get in the way of the work itself. Life is wonderfully messy and without a good measure of chaos we would never experience anything delightfully spontaneous or unexpected or learn any skills or talents for unusual situations. We think that a life without all the mess would soon become dull and boring.

 

What if the fact that my meditations plans consistently fall through discourages me from even getting going?

 

This is sabotage. It is a fear pattern resulting in inertia and a mind set of ‘one day I will meditate.’ It is a place of ‘stuckness.’

 

Putting our wellbeing last in the long line of people who we perceive to be more worthy of our time is also a fear pattern.

 

As we have said in a previous article – your fear patterns will kill you in the end.

 

We are wise if we remember that our use and quality of service to those we love and feel duty towards is diminished if we are depleted – in other words – we cannot pour from an empty cup!

 

That said, perhaps we can take the pressure off ourselves by reducing those demands upon time that meditation makes when done ‘properly.’

 

Yes, it is nice to have a safe and comfortable space with all the right sounds and scents and a good 40 minutes stretched out ahead where our phone is switched off, and no-one will need us but - are we not the more skilled at meditating if we can do it in the doctors waiting room while anticipating results or on the bus or between difficult tasks at work?

 

Would it not be wonderful to be so good at meditating that we can do it anywhere – no matter the distraction?

 

What if we were able to practise the skill so that we did not need to make room during the day for meditation. What if it was woven into the day so that with our resulting clear head and calm outlook, we naturally found room for everything that was required of us?

 

Setting the scene for a planned meditation with all the sensory comforts and none of the distractions is a wonderful practice but we are wise if we do not let the need for that scene discourage us from practicing at all.

 

When life presents us with chaos - surely - this is the time that we are most in need of calm.

 

Let us set the intention to meditate regularly, whatever life is throwing at us….

 

 

Try this:

 

Set the intention to become a master of meditation.

 

Know that if you can meditate, unaffected whilst there is noisy traffic outside in the street, banter from your colleagues in the corridor outside your door, your phone rings because you forgot to put it on silent, you have just received bad news or your children are fighting in the next room – you are mastering the skill at the most advanced level.

 

Those of us who have experienced meditation have experienced the challenge of interruption of thoughts. This is a human experience. In fact, various sources on the internet report the shortest time for a human to be without thought to be around 15 – 20 seconds – and these are the experts.

 

Do not allow beliefs of not being good enough or equipped for the task to discourage you from becoming excellent at it.

 

You can master it by simply letting go of how you think it should be.

 

The only requirement – is to begin.

 

Pick a time and place where you have a window for meditation. 

 

Apply no more restrictions that that – simply a window where you might practise a little.

 

Avoid concerning yourself with any distractions that might come along and interrupt you. Any anxiety about distraction will create negative body chemistry which is not conducive to meditation and will make your task more difficult.

 

Besides, any distractions that come along to disturb you are your friends!

 

They are welcome!

 

They are going to help you to learn to meditate in any situation and so potentially, the more distracting they are, the better!

 

Take your awareness to your breathing.

 

Your breath is a constant. It exists only in the present moment, and it connects you to your body and therefore your to emotions. Because of these factors, focussing on the breath is one of the most accessible ways to achieve a meditative state.

 

Allow your breath to slow and deepen right into the belly, feeling the navel rise away from the spine on the inbreath and drop towards it as you breathe out.

 

It is widely accepted that 2 – 5 minutes of deep belly breathing down-regulates the fight/flight response and induces relaxation.

 

Trust yourself.

 

Know that you are worthy and capable.

 

Breathe deeply.

 

Let go of your effort to belly breath and trust your own rhythm.

 

It is perfect.

 

When distractions arrive, name them, thank them, and let them go.

 

Bring your awareness back to your breathing.

 

When thoughts arrive, name them, thank them, and let them go.

 

Thoughts are like trains. You can observe them drawing up at the platform, but you can watch them pull away once acknowledged without jumping on board.

 

Bring your awareness back to your breathing.

 

When you find yourself immersed in stillness, savour it.

 

You did that.

 

Set the intention to practise this skill regularly.

 

Now offer yourself some gratitude for your willingness and open mindedness and know that the day goes ahead all the more smoothly for it - and this is your reward!

 

For more insights and a host of tools and techniques for exploring the Self and improving your human experience see our book:

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