I spent my Sunday afternoon in a meditation course out of curiosity. I wanted to know if I’ve been “doing it right”.
I’ve been lightly dabbling in meditation for many years (I still remember my mum guiding me through my first one when I was in primary school), so I had an urge to learn more.
Turns out I have been doing it right, and so have you if you’ve ever simply taken some quiet time.
Here are some little gems I picked up:
- Attention Management is a great alternative name – simplifies the idea.
- Meditation is not all about sitting in lotus position on a purple cushion. It’s as simple as the image above. It can be taking time out on the train, while waiting at the doctors, in the shower, walking in a park, etc. It is simply paying attention to your body, even if just for a minute, which is something we too often forget to do.
- To calm the mind, you must first calm the physical body. For those of us who sit in a chair all day long, meditating in this same position will just make us restless; so we are best to try something with movement such as peacefully walking in nature. Sitting, however, is perfect for those on the go all day, who will find relief in taking a seat.
- You can’t fully STOP your thoughts, and attempting to will just create more thoughts about stopping the thoughts! Meditation is about calming the mind by inviting your thoughts in, and allowing them to gently flow, rather than trying to fight them off, or debate with them as we usually would throughout the day.
- Striving to perfect your meditation practice defeats the point, and creates judgement (therefore more thoughts) about “not doing it right”. It’s just about relaxing, and there is no such thing as a perfect practice. I love this tip: aim to take a mediocre meditation – then you’ll “do it right”.
- Taking short meditations every day (even one minute, ideally multiple times throughout the day), is much more effective than trying to sit for half an hour, and only doing it sporadically.
- A great place to meditate is in the car once you arrive somewhere. Rather than jump out of the car as soon as you’ve pulled the breaks, just chill for 60 seconds before getting out of the car. It’ll really pull in your presence before you venture out.
- Meditation in itself is not some magical fighter of all evil. It’s simply a tool to gain a clear awareness of whats going on for you; helping you to make the right decisions for yourself. Whether it be taking note of a physical pain, or a situation that may be causing you disturbance, or finding an answer to something you’ve been pondering for a while.