Today I’ll talk a little about meditation and how to start a meditation practice. In my next post, I’ll elaborate more about kindness to ourselves as I touched a little bit on it in my previous post.
To start, find a comfortable position or comfortable place, this will help you with not wanting to move. If you are comfortable in your body, you will be still. Why you are restless, why you are moving is because you are not comfortable. All good meditation starts with awareness of your body. Learn how to sit comfortably. If you sit comfortably, you can sit for a long time. Relax the body. Until your body feels comfortable with no aches and pains then only you can move on to meditation of your breath. Be kind to your body.
If you are feeling restless, find out the cause of it. If you are kind to your body, your body becomes like a friend. You tend to want to hang out with one another, you relax with one another. The feeling of friendliness to somebody or something might be the key to be able to stop restlessness.
Ask yourself: Why does your mind wander off, what is it trying to run away from? What are you trying to attain?
Be kind and friendly to your mind: Ok mind, if you need to go off somewhere, off you go, when you are ready, you can come back, I’ll be here waiting for you.
A kid will want to run away from home only because they are unhappy and don’t like it there. Similarly, with the breath, the breath runs away from the mind because you might be cruel, might not be nice to it, so it does not want to come back. A mind that receives kindness, does not want to leave you.
First, take care of your body. Then only you can go to your mind. Mind is a lot more difficult because there’s a lot of regrets from the past and worries about the future. The past is made out of memories, they are not tangible and real right now. Learn from the past but don’t punish yourself by holding on so tightly to it. Our past might make us think: I don’t deserve happiness, I don’t deserve peacefulness
THAT’S NOT TRUE!!
Every human being deserves to be happy, to be peaceful, to receive love, but we create our own barriers of thinking that we don’t deserve it.
Let go of the past – be kind to it. Give it loving-kindness (May all my past, good, bad, or in-between, be peaceful, be happy. May I remember it and be kind to it). Be kind to the future as well – what’s the future going to hold? We don’t know, but we can give it loving-kindness to it and not worry about it.
It’s easy to come to the present moment , but the challenge is how do you remain in the present moment. You aren’t able to stay in the present moment because you don’t like the present moment. It’s like when you’re watching TV and channel surfing, you keep going from one thing to another because you want to find something that might interest you. You search for something interesting in the past or the future, how do I be rich, how do I become successful etc. You don’t respect the present moment. How do I be content with the present moment? How do I feel happy to be here.
Freedom vs jail.
Do you want to be here or do you want to be somewhere else? If you are unhappy to be here, you are in a prison made by yourself. If you’re happy to be here, you are free.
Being here, right now, is the best thing you can do for the future. If you’re listening to fine music, you think or talk, you cannot fully listen to the music and enjoy it. If you are meditating, and you are talking back at it, how can you learn what nature has to say to you?
After you learn to be present, you can start focusing on the breath. Why is the breath the most common meditation technique? Because it’s the one thing that is natural, the one thing that you can notice when all other senses has been removed or shut off.
People try to go into the breath too fast before mindfulness is established. You don’t have to watch any body part to watch the breath, it just happens naturally. Mindfulness first, be in the present moment, then only you watch your breath.
Here’s a link to a 7 min body scan that I recorded: https://youtu.be/8I1h88ydX1A
How does being kind to your mind help your meditation practice?
During the day’s meditation practice, I decided to be kind to my mind, and it was easier to meditate. I recognised that I needed to move around every 20 mins or so, and I allowed myself to do that. I noticed that the pain in my body decreased slowly. When rushing around, I get tired, so I needed to slow down. Talking to myself gently is better. It makes meditation lighter, not feels so heavy or like a chore. My mind wandered off to work several times, I guess my mind was worried about what to do about improving my company’s visibility and worried about rental. However, I told my mind gently, there is no need to worry about that now, nothing is going to change. There is no new insight, I can think about that later. Right now, what’s more important is me. I am most important, now is the most important time, and caring about me is #1. I was also able to do loving kindness to my body and each part of it. That helped the pain in different parts of my body a lot.
What I learned: When we are kind to ourselves and our body, gentle, not forceful, our body and mind feels a lot happier. It’s a lot lighter and it’ll heal itself, creating wonders.
Loads more reflections to come! Till next time! 🙂