15 Dec Quick – Start Meditating!
If you’re anything like I was, when you think of meditation, you’ll think, “I’d never be able to do that – my mind never stops!”. In other cultures, for instance where Buddhism or Hinduism prevalent, people might be brought up with the notion of pausing and learning to tame our ‘monkey mind’ (the constantly whirring, commenting on everything, planning, going over history etc etc) aspect of our mind, but we in the West are certainly not. So when someone says, “just sit in silence for 10 minutes a day and focus on your breathing”, they may as well be asking us to climb Everest.
But the thing I’ve found is, it doesn’t matter that we’re ‘bad at it’ – its the process of just practicing that makes the difference. we might get distracted by thoughts 100s of times in that 10 minutes, but every time we notice it and focus back on our breathing (or whatever your particular method is), we are rewiring our brains, building a ‘muscle’ that will help us to notice negative or unhelpful thoughts, painful emotions and old coping patterns and observe, instead of being ‘swept away’ by them. In practicing daily, we build this muscle, so that we can use it when we really need it; when we’re starting to feel anxious, when we notice we’re feeling flat or down, or when we cant sleep.
There are lots of resources these days to make it easier; Smiling Mind and Head Space both do an app that can be downloaded on your phone, so you can meditate anywhere – on the way to work, in bed, even walking. But if you prefer the personal touch, our friends at Sutherland Yoga (www.sutherlandyoga.com.au) run meditation courses and classes for beginners to experienced.
This article gives some of the reasons we should all get meditating!