What is Meditation?
Misconceptions of a meditation practice:
1. It's a religious practice...
Far from it! There may be religious practitioners that meditate but meditation at its core is not a religious practice. It is a mindfulness tool to help people tune in, quieten their minds. It helps us let go of fear,
stress and anxiety.
2. I have to try not to think and have a clear mind...
It's not about trying not to think or even about having a clear mind.
It's about letting go of thought.
Here's an example, your mind is still for a few seconds, then your stomach sends a signal to your brain saying "I'm hungry"
This is where the practice begins because you have 2 choices:
1: Accidentally let your thoughts run away with you and you end up following that thought with another...
"What do I want to eat when this is over?"
"Oh pizza, I could go to that new restaurant down the road"
Then you imagine yourself sitting in that restaurant eating pizza.
This is where you break the practice of being in the 'NOW'.
Instead of being in meditation, you're now (in your mind's eye) sitting in a restaurant eating pizza.
2: Once you notice the thought "I'm hungry", you silently witness it but instead of feeding it with another you let it pass, and BOOM just like that you're back in meditation and back in the present moment.
The mind is a little devil, it will constantly trip you up during meditation, and that's OK, that's normal. Even the most seasoned monk will tell you his mind does the same thing, except he's mastered the art of letting go.
Our thoughts are like a hamster on a wheel, running round and round, or a naughty monkey finding new tricks of distraction because it's uncomfortable with the present moment and with silence. So the practice of meditation is to accept that your mind has once again taken you out of the present and into the past or future, let it go and continue to be present.
*Don't see it as a failure or a wasted meditation just because you've had a thought.
So what is meditation?
ACCEPTING WHEN THE MIND TRIPS US UP
AND LEARNING TO LET GO OF THOUGHT
*Plus it's almost impossible to have a completely clear head, we evolved into these incredibly alert, conscious beings so why would we want to stop the brain and its thoughts all together? After all, thinking and thought have there uses. The problem only lies in believing we are our thoughts and allowing them to control our emotions, actions and lives, which is what 99% of us do, 99% of the time. The wonderful thing about meditation is that the thoughtless gaps as you learn to become the master of your mind. We then have the capability of using our minds in a much more constructive way, rather than letting that little monkey inside our heads rule over everything we do.
Hope that all makes sense! Drop me a comment or email if you have any
questions at all ;)