Meditation can seem really confusing. So… you just, sit… and think about nothing? For a long time? Eventually, yes, you can do that if you would like to. But if that sounds terrible, let me just show you a better way to start.
I can’t even remember how and why I started meditation, or where the interest came from. Prayer has been ingrained in me since as young as I can remember, so it partially sprouted from that. My earliest memories of meditating are logging into the Chopra website that had a bad-ass free meditation library at the time. Sadly, it no longer has this feature, but there are so many other sources these days, including this website.
I think the benefits of meditation are so vast that it’s difficult to explain. There is a phenomenon that when in proximity to large groups of people meditating, people actually experience less stress and relax themselves. This happens in the surrounding area even if the people there are unaware there are meditators nearby. For me, there is really one main benefit, and then boat loads of sub-benefits that stem of off the main one. That main benefit is a connection to a greater source. Some call it God, Spirit, Alah, Yahweh, Universe, etc. If you don’t believe in any of that just think of meditation as a way to connect to your best self.
I will now debunk meditation myths and answer the most common questions about practicing;
I get really tired when I try to meditate. How do I prevent this?
If you are finding that meditation makes you sleepy, it sound like this is a great thing to do before bed. If you are listening to a Guided Meditation and you fall asleep during it, the brain actually still receives the information subconsciously. However, if you want to Meditate during the day, try to get it in at the time where you are most alert… maybe after some coffee and a shower. Ideally, we would all meditate once in the morning and once at night but if that isn’t where you are in your process it’s perfectly ok. Some days I’m not there either, especially with my hectic mom life.
Do I have to sit? Can I lay down?
Good news my friends, it doesn’t really matter! The theory (or one of them) is that you sit in order for your Root Chakra to be aligned with you Crown Chakra. But that also happens while lying down… it’s just not moving that energy upward, technically, towards “God”. God doesn’t care if your head is above your booty while attempting to connect. God will connect whatever way you choose.
If you do tend to get tired while meditating, you can simply sit. For me, it really depends on the day and what meditation I’m doing. I typically sit unless I’m meditating before bed. I also have a baby that I’m lugging around all day, so sometimes my shoulders just want to rest so I honor my body and just lay down.
How do I stop my mind from wandering?
Well, you can’t. Until you fire the committee that is. Each of us have a committee of jerks in our heads, reminding us of the “to do” list, telling us we have to lose weight, telling us we can’t sit still, etc. Firing the committee can take years. Until then, here’s a trick to calm the mind. Simply repeat mentally, ” I wonder what my next thought will be”. Try it out, you’ll be surprised at how quiet the committee gets.
My schedule is so busy, how am I supposed to find the time?
I get that. If you can start out with 3-5 minute Guided Meditations or just moments where you are still and silent that’s a great beginning! Don’t let that committee tell you that you have to sit for 30 minutes. Ultimately, 30 minutes is a great goal to work towards but starting there may just make you resist the practice.
Does Meditation improve health? Yes. Hundreds of studies show that meditation can improve both physical and psychological discomforts. Decreases in anxiety, depression, and insomnia are just a few things that will most likely occur.
Am I doing it right? Yes. As long as you are trying, and not driving. They don’t call it a practice for no reason. 🙂
For a simple Guided Meditation that is a great starter check out my White Light Meditation in the Meditation section of this website.