Meditation “Practice”

For years I have been attempting to perfect my meditation practice. I have tried several different types of mediation: Buddhist, Kundalini, walking, guided, yoga Nidra, etc. After all of these I have still felt like an amateur when I sit on my cushion. This morning I realized, it is “practice”. I don’t have to be perfect at it. There are days when I sit on my cushion and the 20 minutes passes easily with myself in the zone. There are other days when I check my timer, twice, sure I must have forgotten to start it. Some days I sit and spend the whole 20 minute thinking. Other days I am listening to the sounds in the house. It does not have to be perfect to be beneficial. I just have to keep practicing.

Some of the helpful things I have learned about mediation are:

  • We only get upset at noises we think we should be able to control. We don’t get upset at birds or wind, but family members or our pets, we think should stay quiet for us. Meditation is about being able to still quiet our mind despite someone doing the dishes, watching TV, or barking at the delivery driver.
  • The mind will think, that is what it does. It is not my job to stop it from thinking but rather to notice that it is thinking. Meditation helps us be aware of how our mind works and to notice what it is doing. By practicing with it, in a calm environment, we better understand it and can notice what it is doing in stressful situations.
  • Giving the mind something to do can help you meditate. Kundalini meditations, involve chanting mantras and sometimes performing certain movements. This can be very helpful because the mind is busy focusing on the mantra and/or the movement. It allows you to get to the mediative space.
  • No one is good at mediation when they first start doing it. It takes practice and commitment. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
  • For all the imperfect meditations I have, the ones that work are worth all the ones that don’t.
  • You have to find the mediation that is right for you. I have had amazing experiences with many different types of mediation but my favorite is sitting silent mediation. It is not necessarily the easiest but it is the one that I have the riches experiences with.
  • There are many layers to your mind. I have identified a thinker, a narrater (who thinks they have to tell me what I am doing and what I am thinking like I am not there experiencing it), there is a watcher, a judge (who scold when it thinks I am not doing it right), and back behind all these other layers, somewhere deep within, is me.
  • Making a nonnegotiable habit makes it much easier. I get up in the morning and I mediate for 20 minutes every day. There is no option to do it later. When I get up, it is time. I go and sit.
  • I feel more ground, connected, and at peace now that I have established a meditative practice.
  • Meditating daily helps with other commitments. I know that a temptation will pass and am better able to stick to my other self-care initiatives.

If you have ever considered doing mediation, do it! It is worth it. Be gentle with yourself. Practice is practice. Anything else you were practicing you would not expect yourself to be perfect. Let meditation have the same grace. Notice that the mind is thinking and come back to your breath, your mantra, or focusing on the flicker of a candle flame. Be willing to experiment with different types of mediation till you find the one that works for you. Wether you have a deep experience during mediation, you find it easier to pass on the candy bowl, or you notice how you are reacting in a stressful situation, you will know that the effort of your practice has been worth it.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you find the perfect way to make meditation a beautiful part of your self-care practices. You are worth it.

Other blogs on Meditation:

9 Ways to Improve Mediation

Mediations: A Beautiful Experience

7 Mediation Myths

11 Types of Meditation

There is an App for That: A review of Mediation Apps


Dipping a Toe into Consciousness

What is consciousness or, more importantly, what isn’t it? Is it about the question or encompassed in the answer? Have you explored consciousness? Do you know who you are? Do you feel more connected to the narrator, the speaker, or the observer? What steps do you take to increase the mindfulness in your life? There are so many deep questions we could ask about consciousness. 

Mindful meditation is taught by the buddhists, but in recent years, the practice of meditation and mindfulness has become much more mainstream. I recently read a book by Dan Harris called 10% Happier. In his book, Dan describes his own reluctant journey into a meditation practice. Gurus, such as, Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra offer a place for seekers to begin to learn about consciousness. One of the first books I read about consciousness was The Untethered Soul. I have since read it twice and still feel that I could benefit from a third reading.

Our minds our very busy things and if you take the time to notice, there are several versions of “us” that the mind portrays to us. There is the speaker. This is the guy who is always thinking what to say ‘next’ in the conversation. This fella is pretty sure that he always has the most interesting tidbits to share. This is also the same guy giving me trouble getting past day one on my “21 days complaint free” adventure. Then there is the narrator. This joker is the one who feels the need to tell us what we are doing. Like I don’t know I am walking down the hall, planning my next move, or reading an interesting blog. The narrator feels it is necessary to tell me everything I am doing. My favorite though, is the observer. It is great when you can identify with the observer. This part of me (and this is the true me) is quiet and sits in the background. This “me” just notices. I was getting upset with something that happened to me in a relationship one day. The observer sat back and noticed that I felt triggered by the interaction. The observer had no connection to the frustration or hurt that the situation caused. The observer only noticed it. Once the observer noticed it the narrator got really intrigued about it and took it from there. It is the observer portion of us that meditation can help better connect to.

Daily meditation, noticing these different parts of our mind, reading books and watching videos by the gurus; are some of the ways we can become more conscious. Is this a part of your journey right now? I would love to hear how consciousness affects your life. What works for you? What would you like to improve? I feel a need to connect more fully with my consciousness and therefore am planning a silent retreat with Adventure Sister Emy. Little steps can have big impacts when it comes to consciousness. If you have not already done so, why not dip your toe into the water.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May your journey into consciousness be fulfilling and profound, as if by magic.

*Photo was taken on Mt Baker, WA

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