Thinking is the one thing our brain loves to do the most. I am not saying it is exceptionally good at it but I have to give it credit for its devotion. The whole day it goes on and on and on. I have to do this, I have to do that. Why did I do that? Even in our sleep it does not stop.
To be fair, some thoughts can be very useful, even brilliant! But often, and I shall speak for myself, my thoughts are an absolute waste of thinking. Especially when I have done something stupid and I know I cannot do anything about it but I just keep thinking about it. I mean, I like my brain and I could not live without it but it would be nice to have a on and off switch.
Well, perhaps you already knew this but shall I tell you a little secret?! It does have an on and off switch! You can call it a little holiday from yourself but most people know it as meditation and it really works!
What first sounded like a bunch of hokum for many is now much more accepted by modern society. Even scientists agree on the benefits of meditation. More and more people are meditating these days and you will not be considered as a weird new age hippie anymore that walks on sandals and refuses to wash his hair, if you are sitting with your legs crossed and your eyes closed.
It is only logical. There is so much going on in modern day society. Every day you need to make decisions and they need to be made fast. What shall I have for breakfast? What shall I wear. How can I avoid the traffic? We gave ourselves so many choices. We are also good in focusing on bad thoughts. Overall, they get much more attention what can work very destructive.
You ARE the result of what you think and for every bad thought you have, you could have had a happy one. It is very hard to notice what is actually going on in your head and before you know, you lose your consciousness and become a prisoner of your own thoughts. You can get depressed, lose energy and worse, forget what your dreams were. Now that is not what we want, do we?
Meditation is a very old practice and focuses on the consciousness of your mind. After all, you are the one who is in charge of your thoughts. It seems that we forget this sometimes but meditation can really help us to get back in charge again. It is like training your mind, just like you can train for a sport or an instrument. Eventually you can learn how to master it but of course you have to make an effort.
I think it is much healthier if a person is able to control his thoughts instead of the other way around so that is why I meditate every day. I have noticed that if I meditate on a regular base, I am much happier. I have more energy, I am more creative and I am better at seeing things in perspective. I am able to notice when thoughts are draining energy so I can stop thinking about them and I am more capable of seeing the beauty in things. In other words, I am in control of myself.
Now, there are many kinds of techniques in meditation and it is a lot of fun to explore them. The hard part is to stick to it once you have made yourself the promise to start meditating. I know from experience that it is so easy to think: ‘I will do it tomorrow’ and before you know, you just forget about it.
Another reason to quit is because it can be frustrating. You are sitting there with your eyes closed, trying to be in control but it just does not work. Thoughts are still popping up in your head and it feels like you are never going to be able to clear your head. The whole point is to become relax and this way it works the other way around so rather stop doing it. But this is a mistake! It is just part of the beginning.
You are not going to be a yogi in a week, you have to work for it. It takes time, just like learning to play guitar. The fact that you have decided to start and trying it, is already a huge change. Practice, and you will get better!
In order to make your beginning a success you need to think of a couple of things. First, you must fully realize that you are doing yourself a huge favor if you meditate. You are working on a happier you and why would you not do that if you can? Second, it does not have to take a lot of time. Just ten minutes a day would be enough to make a difference. Third, try to make it a daily routine, just like brushing your teeth.
Agree on a moment with yourself and give yourself that time. And last, do not be too hard on yourself. Forgive yourself if thoughts are coming up and try to clear your head again. It is part of the progress and after a while, you will be the master of your mind
To give you something to start with, I will give you a short and easy meditation.
Start by making it yourself comfortable. Perhaps you want to light some candles, burn some incense and play some relax music. You do not have to but it can help bringing you in the mood. Now, sit down, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Breath strongly, in and out, in and out. Keep focusing on your breathing and try to clear your head. It does not matter if thoughts are coming, just relax and let them go. What I always try to do is picture myself in an empty white and light space. Nothing is in it. It is quiet.
When you feel like it you can concentrate on a point high on your forehead. Do not forget to breath. In and out. Now when you breath out, slowly go down with your focus to point on the middle of your forehead. Keep going down with your focus every time you feel like it. The point between your eyes, your nose, your mouth, your chin, your throat and eventually to the point where your heart is. Stay there with your focus, take a couple of deep breaths and imagine you are entering your heart.
You are now in the center of yourself. This is your place, this is who you are. This is where all your beauty is. Feel yourself at home. Feel yourself connected to the earth. In this place you will find only good.
Stay here for a while and feel totally relaxed and safe. Maybe you see yourself in some place. Stay there if you like it. It is your place. Then open your eyes and get used to your environment again before you stand up.
This is a very simple meditation which brings you back to your center. I have learned it from a wonderful person once and I still use it often. Give it a chance and see if you like it. It is a good start.