If you’re trying to meditate and you’re finding it hard to do so, it may be because your body is not used to the quiet and peaceful state that you reach through meditation. You might also be struggling with thoughts about whether or not you’re doing it right and other insecurities. The first thing you need to do is to accept these thoughts and stop caring whether or not you’re meditating the ‘right way’. The first rule of meditation club is that there’s no right way. The second rule is that you set your own rules. Basically, do what feels natural to you, what makes you comfortable.
The purpose of meditation is to allow you to reach a quiet and peaceful state of mind. If you’re bickering inside your head over ‘how wrong you’re doing this’ or ‘how ridiculous you must look right now!’ you’re not doing yourself a favor, instead you’re perpetuating a stressed state of mind. When these thoughts come to your head simply accept them, I find it useful to reply with “maybe, maybe not” and continue focusing on the type of meditation you’re practicing at the moment.
For example, if you’re doing Om meditation for the first time and you’re thinking “I look like one of those Asian dudes on the movies…” acknowledge that thought and don’t reprimand yourself for having it. Instead of reacting to the thought, continue chanting your “Oms”.
If you’re unsure of what reacting to the thought means here’s an example:
Imagine that, once again, you’re trying ‘Om’ meditation and you’re thinking about what would happen if someone walked in on you chanting “Om”. Reacting would consist on answering to yourself by thinking next “They’d probably laugh at me” or “Oh gosh, I’d be so embarrassed”. Reacting to a distracting thought results in another distracting thought.
The key of successful meditation lies on not reacting to your thoughts! If you react, a train of thoughts will follow and you will soon realize you’ve become overwhelmed, you’ll give up and maybe stop trying to meditate all together. It is expected that the first few times you sit down, thoughts will come to you from all different directions, just remember: don’t react. Eventually you will notice that the thoughts become less frequent and you will be able to reach a quiet and peaceful state of mind more easily.
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