Firstly, remove ALL expectations.
Meditation is not necessarily sitting in one spot with your hands making fancy shapes for hours on end without any thoughts and then eventually, BOOM you reach enlightenment.
Sorry to burst your imaginative bubble of expectation, but the reality is that meditation can look like, feel like and BE anything at all.
It can be painting, reading or running. Gardening, dancing or swimming. You can find stillness in motion, the same way you can be still but moving a million miles an hour.
And both are good. You see, the body benefits from movement and the mind benefits from stillness.
So, if I haven’t scared you off and you want to try meditation. Do so.
Here are just two options to try…
Sit. Lay. Do whatever is comfortable.
If you chose to sit, allow your hands to rest gentle on your thighs or knees. perhaps you'd prefer to cradle your hands in to one another, or even take your thumb and index finger and place the tips of them together, then spread the remaining three fingers out straight (This is called Jnana Mudra)
And do not much else.
Close the eyes. Open your heart and mind.
Connect to your breath.
Allow your thoughts to come and go like the waves at the beach.
A wave rolls up, kissing the shore on the inhale.
And then slowly melts back in to the ocean on the exhale.
Feel the air cool as it enters your nose, then feel it gently warming as the breath fills your body; your chest, lungs and belly.
Rid yourself any tension, releasing stress and concern with every out breath.
Inhale deeply for a count of three. Expand the ribcage with your Prana (breath), filling your entire body with energy and vitality.
Hold your breath at the top, feel that life force awakening every cell.
Then exhale for a count of four. Slow, steady, controlled.
Hold at the bottom. Enjoy these periodic episodes of quietness and space. Then fill your lungs again.
Feel your belly expanding; pouring Prana in to the body, just as you would pour water in to a bucket.
Allow your thoughts to wander. Don’t try suppress them. Notice the way they roam in and out of your mind. To and fro. Mental ebbs and flows.
Don’t judge yourself for these thoughts. They do not make you any less successful as a yogi and certainly do not make you any less valuable as a person.
Just as you watched those thoughts enter your mind, watch them leave again. Not attaching to anything that pops up. Instead, just return your awareness to the breath. In and out.
Find comfort in the knowledge that your body knows how to breathe all on its own. It is not something you need to concentrate on or try hard to do. Our bodies will inhale and exhale even without our knowledge, just like a reflex.
But turning our attention to the breath is often where the magic lies!
There is much to be learned in the rise and fall of our lungs.
Notice the way your body melts, and your nerves quieten just from a few moments of breath observation and awareness.
Know that you can come back to this place, this feeling, whenever you need to.
Life is a bunch of unpredictable circumstances tied together with our own clumsy hands.
Our only certainty is change.
However, the breath can make any one of those situations 1000x better within a single instant.
Trust that your breath, your Prana, your life force is powerful beyond both measure and comprehension. Meditation is a step in the right direction for learning how to harness that force and use it consciously and with intention to better shape your life.
Do something you love. Find the thing that fills you with happiness and excitement.
Find the things that makes your insides smile and gives you so much joy that your cheeks hurt!
Then do it.
It is here that you will find a sense of effortless ease; “flow” if you like. A way of being, doing or moving that requires minimal to no conscious awareness.
You will often find this feeling while being creative; writing for example, drawing or painting. Or perhaps snorkelling, running or surfing?
You know the feeling… The feeling where hours could pass and you haven’t had a single thought. You are so immersed in the moment, the art, the song, the rhythm, that CONNECTION between you and your soul, that nothing else even existed.
This too, is a kind of meditation - removing your ego and mind from the body and enabling just a couple of minutes of true enlightenment, liberation and freedom from the self.
So, like I said.
Meditation isn’t necessarily going to be what you expected.
The chances are it will be messy and confusing and hard! At first it will be difficult, then it will become unpredictable, then it will become somewhat maybe even enjoyable and then when you are able to let go of all these emotions, thoughts and feelings, good AND bad, here you will find yourself meditating without even really trying at all.
Meditation is that ease of mind and connection with your truth.
Like I said, meditation is not necessarily sitting in one spot with your hands making fancy shapes for hours on end without any thoughts and then eventually, BOOM you reach enlightenment.
Or sometimes, it could be exactly that.
It could be hours at a time, or a couple of minutes as you wait for the kettle to boil in the morning.
Whatever meditation looks like for you, embrace it.
Let it be, whatever it wants to be.
Sometimes the most advanced practice is the one where you surrender to the Universe and embrace unpredictability whole-heartedly!
Love and light,