If you’re new to meditation, you might have experienced significant resistance and frustration when attempting to quiet your mind. It can be quite challenging to make your thoughts settle down. While there are numerous techniques available to tackle this issue, many discovered that many of them are not ideal for beginners and can potentially exacerbate your frustration.
However what many individuals have found to be effective, whether you’re just starting out or have advanced in your meditation practice, is not to fixate on following a particular technique. Instead, the crucial aspect is to approach your meditation sessions with the right mindset and intentions.
The mindset during meditation
When you engage in meditation, your primary aim is not to attain any specific goals. You’re not striving to uncover profound happiness, induce relaxation, or gain profound insights. The only aspect you have control over is simply observing whatever is already present within you. Within this internal landscape, you may find happiness, sadness, or anxiety.
Whatever emotions or thoughts already exist, you merely allow them to exist without interference. This is the essence of meditation.
Undoubtedly, this can be a challenging task. To aid in this process of allowing everything within you to simply exist, it is crucial to ensure that the time you’ve set aside for your meditation is a secure and judgment-free space.
It’s a designated period and place where you can coexist with whatever is inside you, free from the compulsion to take action, analyze, or reason through it. You can always return to contemplation and analysis after your meditation session, typically in about thirty minutes or so. It’s not a big issue.
Before commencing your meditation session, remind yourself of this fact. You’ve ensured that you’ve set aside the next fifteen, thirty, or sixty minutes as a sanctuary for yourself. This mindset will enable you to bring the attitude of letting things be into your meditation practice.
The purpose behind meditation
Your purpose in meditation is to explore whether you can refrain from getting entangled in your stream of thoughts. You acknowledge the presence of any thoughts or mental images that arise, understanding that you cannot prevent them from emerging, and then gently return your focus to your breath.
If you find yourself succumbing to your thoughts, you will recognize it. You delve deeper into these thoughts, drawing conclusions, engaging in reasoning, making decisions, and experiencing emotions, all while losing touch with your breath.
The act of thoughts capturing your attention is precisely what you aim to investigate whether you can gradually diminish. This constitutes a fundamental intention in the practice of meditation.
Nonetheless, it’s important to keep in mind that this is merely an intention. This implies that there may be instances where you succeed and others where you don’t. That’s perfectly acceptable. As long as you sincerely hold this intention, you will make progress, one step at a time. Rest assured that your dedication to this intention is sufficient for your ongoing development in meditation.
The compassion in meditation
Undoubtedly, it’s important to acknowledge that, especially in the beginning, meditation can be quite dull. Simply focusing on your breath may leave you yearning for something more substantial, or perhaps a resolution to life’s complexities.
When you don’t immediately or consistently find such a ‘solution’, your mind might seize the quiet meditation time to revert to its default mode of problem-solving: generating ideas, forming reasoning, and concocting scenarios.
During the early stages of your meditation practice, it’s essential to approach yourself with compassion whenever this inclination arises. Life is inherently challenging, and meditation is often portrayed as a universal remedy for life’s myriad problems.
It might indeed offer solutions, or it might not. You cannot force it to be something specific. As previously mentioned, in meditation, your role is merely to observe what is present. A solution may be present, or it may not.
Whenever you catch yourself seeking something particular during meditation, treat yourself kindly, recognize your humanity and the struggles you face, and make an effort to return to your breath. Explore whatever is present. This is the essence of the thirty or so minutes you’ve set aside for this practice.
A gentle intro into meditation conclusion
Meditation, particularly for those new to it, can be a voyage marked by inner resistance and impatience. However, the essence of this practice does not hinge on adhering rigidly to specific techniques; instead, it thrives when approached with an open mindset and clear intentions.
The goal isn’t to attain a particular state but to cultivate the capacity to be a compassionate observer of whatever resides within your mental realm at any given moment. By setting aside a dedicated time and space for your meditation, you create a haven for whatever emotions arise—whether it’s happiness, anxiety, or even boredom.
It’s crucial to remember that your intention is not to wrestle your thoughts into submission but to acquire the skill of stepping back and observing them as they come and go, always returning to the focus on your breath.
Should you encounter challenges or find the practice somewhat uninspiring, rest assured that this is entirely normal. Extend to yourself the same kindness and empathy you would offer to a dear friend. With time, your attitude towards meditation may evolve from one of anticipation to one of pure presence, and it’s within this simplicity that its transformative potential lies.