Meditation is a deceptively simple practice that can be an absolute game-changer for life. So why don’t more of us have a consistent meditation practice?
The idea of meditation can be daunting for some, perhaps boring for others, and I often hear students say that they “don’t have time” for meditation. So, I ask — “do you have time to feel like crap?” They laugh, but there is truth to this.
Meditation, when consistent, can permeate all areas of life and allow us to live with more ease, grace and joy.
Meditation is a vehicle through which we can bring about powerful healing, a process that can be met with great resistance. If a student finds themselves resistant to the practice, it is often because there is much work to be done. And that’s okay! As we allow ourselves to move through forgiveness, surrender, and healing, we allow ourselves to move into a space of much greater freedom. Who doesn’t want that?
Here are five truths about meditation that can help jump-start a solid practice:
5. Meditation does not have to be silent or thoughtless
Students can feel daunted by ideas of what meditation is “supposed to be,” and this is a trap. By determining what our meditation should look or feel like, we’ve already closed ourselves off to many of its benefits.
Thoughts will come in – allow them to! The task at hand is to observe these thoughts, to understand that they do not define us, and to gradually decrease unproductive thought so that we can operate with more clarity and ease.
4. Find what works for you – and stick to it.
Another trap with meditation is to jump around from one practice to another. It is great to explore and to find what works for you, but when we do this, we are essentially digging several small, shallow holes in the ground rather than deepening our practice with one. It’s okay to mix it up as needed, but notice if bouncing from one practice to another is a means of distraction, or is a sign of resistance! (Resistance, by the way, is a great thing to notice – it means progress is being made!)
3. Meditation can be fun!
Meditation does not have to be boring. We can practice at home, on a tram, in nature, in movement (such as walking). It is time that you take for yourself, for your own mental, emotional and spiritual health, and can become a very pleasurable, special part of your day. Meditation can feel difficult at the start, but have fun with it! Create a ritual for yourself and allow it to be a practice you look forward to.
2. Meditation can also be not-so-fun
(but this is where some of the most powerful work happens!)
I’d be lying to you if I said that meditation always had us feeling happy and blissed out at the end. The practice of meditation allows space, and sometimes in this space we can feel the rise of hurt, anger, sadness, loneliness, struggle, etc. The good news is, that meditation is the perfect platform on which to work through all of this. Not-so-happy feelings, thoughts and emotions come up so that they can be healed and released! It does not serve us to carry them around, and ignoring them will only work for so long anyway.
1. Increased mindfulness and presence
Through a consistent meditation practice, we can operate with increased presence and mindfulness in every area of our lives. We can treat ourselves and others with greater care, love, support and compassion, and in this way, create a better environment for ourselves and those around us. With increased mindfulness, we find that we lose items less often, can increase our efficiency and productivity, decrease stress, and move through our days with greater ease.
About the author: Ashley is an inspired, compassionate and supportive yoga and meditation teacher who loves guiding students to reach the next level of their practice. Ashley is elated to share her experience and expertise with those looking to elevate their overall state of being, deepen their practice and live with a heightened state of awareness, compassion and openness.
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