Sometimes, making time to meditate can be difficult, especially when it starts to feel like a waste of time. Knowing you should meditate because it is good for you, especially when you’re really busy, can just add more stress, more negativity, that you can well do without.
At times like this, it’s worth taking a few minutes to take stock. Take time out to be alone. It needn’t be for long. Firstly, have a think about meditation and what it is doing for you. Secondly, consider what might be going wrong with your meditation practice.
So what is meditation doing for you?
Without you having to do anything but sit in silence for ten to twenty minutes a day, this simple act is allowing many things to happen without you “doing” anything. It is bringing your mind, body and spirit into balance; you are releasing stress that you have been holding in your body. Your brain is physically changing as you are returning to pure awareness, resting deeply. You may also be receiving insights into problems you are working on.
Maybe you have forgotten the after effects of meditation, too. You are more at ease with yourself and others. This is a huge benefit that is often overlooked.
Sleep patterns improve, depressive thoughts reduce, mood swings are less. The effect we have on other people is so significant that meditating just for that purpose is enough reason to continue.
Is something wrong with your meditation practice?
The mind is very good at talking! That internal chatterbox forever needs feeding with new ideas to work on and if there aren’t any new ideas it decides to say it is bored or it goes over past issues or future concerns.
Please just read that last sentence again. Do you resonate with it? Can you see how your own mind does that? If your answer is “yes”, do you then notice that the mind is acting almost separately from you, that you are suddenly observing what you would call “yourself”? Agreed?
So, perhaps you can now see that the mind is saying meditation is boring, and is talking you out of going to your chair to meditate.
Whatever meditation technique you are using, it is important to remember that its purpose is to take you to a state of stillness within, where you are alert and aware of being. Of course, thoughts and sensations arise because that is the nature of creation. But for just the time when you are meditating, let those distractions arise and subside and return to stillness.
My advice to you is to make your meditation technique as simple as possible or you’ll fall into the mind trap. That’s why I always return to noticing the breathing. Here is a wonderful quote about breathing by Ilchi Lee.
“Observe your own body. It breathes. You breathe when you are asleep, when you are no longer conscious of your own ideas of self-identity. Who, then, is breathing? The collection of information that you mistakenly think it’s you is not the main protagonist in this drama called the breath. In fact, you are not breathing; breath is naturally happening to you. You can purposely end your own life, but you cannot purposely keep your own life going. The expression, “My life” is actually an oxymoron, a result of ignorance and mistaken assumption. You don’t possess life; life expresses itself through you. Your body is a flower that life let bloom, a phenomenon created by life.”
So when you have doubts about the benefits of meditation or your meditation technique, in the light of this quotation of Ilchi Lee, consider returning to noticing the breath and see where it takes you.