We can release so much and open our bodies to such great energy flow when we meditate. However, mention meditation to most people and you will typically get a wide-eyed response of terror! “Meditation is too hard,” I have heard over and over again. But, believe it or not, the hard part of meditating is that most people make it too complicated to actually be effective.
When I first tried meditation about 15 years ago, I had many rituals and rules about the way I was supposed to be doing it. I was rather OCD about it. I’d ring a bell to start, sit cross-legged, label every thought ‘thought’ or ‘thought about anger’, ‘thought about resentment’, etc. I set a timer and would constantly peek at it to see if it was almost time to get up and do anything else. I’d get a little mad at myself if I forgot to follow my breath “iiiinnnn” and “ouuuuttt”. With this style of meditating, I didn’t notice any big shifts in my life. No sense of ‘source’ or ‘peace’. To get that enlightened state, I figured I would just have to do it ‘better’ and more often. There is a self-judgement in this approach that I feel interfered with actually connecting to quiet.
In my meditation now, I prefer to allow my human mind to be a human mind in all its glorious wandering self-talk. I don’t judge it or label it. I just allow it. I say “cool” whenever I catch my thoughts wandering, then bring myself back to center. At the same time, I allow quiet to seep into my meditation. I allow the physical sense of connection, which presents as tingling or warmth in my body, to co-exist with everything else. The moments of quiet are lengthened when I put my attention here. ….And then it wanders again. I say “cool”. I bring myself back to silence.
Another simplifying step is to meditate first thing in the morning before doing anything. I don’t stop between bed and the meditation chair. I don’t brush my teeth, check email, use the bathroom, or even have any thoughts if I can help it. As soon as I notice I am awake, I haul my tuschie out of bed, and into meditation. This way I preserve some of the nice delta waves from sleep. This naturally keeps the mind quieter than if you interrupt the brain waves for some quotidian activity.
Once I’m in my meditation space, I don’t follow any rules that would typically make me feel bad about my inability to meditate “perfectly”. I don’t follow breath, I don’t label thoughts, I just allow. I don’t make a big deal of body position (i.e. cross legged or straight spine). I just make sure I’m comfortable. I close my eyes. I breathe. When I notice my mind taking a tangent, I simply tell myself, ‘cool’ and bring myself back to quiet. I do use a timer, but I’m not beholden to it. Honestly, I mostly use it so I don’t meditate for too long. I have a preschooler and a dog who both need to be fed before noon!
As a final note, I do like to use crystals and, to a lesser extent, essential oils when I meditate to facilitate reaching deeper levels of quiet and connection to source. This is a personal choice, and certainly not necessary, but, if you’re interested in trying, these allies might be of assistance to you:
nirvana quartz – stimulate connection to source
tibetan quartz – stimulate communication with source
natural citrine – this is an abundance stone, you may actually see its golden radiance inside your eyelids!
phenacite – an extremely high vibration stone that stimulates 3rd eye (and beyond)
amethyst – a sweet, healing energy. Helps to quiet the mind and bring it to center
doTerra’s blend “in tune”