5 Questions You May Have On Mindfulness
Rather than holding beliefs (e.g., “I am worthless”) to be a true description of who we are, we see the narrative as a constellation of thoughts. This can foster more breathing room and lead to increased well-being. It’s not so much about changing the narrative, but rather about changing our relationship with it. Incorporate your mindfulness routine into your life. You’ll see the difference! Now, let’s answer some questions you may have about mindfulness.
1. How do I find time to meditate?
We spend most of our day mindlessly surfing the internet, watching YouTube, or scrolling down social media. Prioritize your activities, and start being more productive. You can spare 5 minutes on a mindfulness exercise, rather than looking at Instagram. In meditation, the quality of your practice is usually more important than the quantity.
2. If one has a physical condition that makes sitting uncomfortable, is it OK to meditate while lying down or standing up?
Yes, and, depending on the physical condition, that might be highly advisable.
3. Can focused meditation produce negative effects?
In general, focused meditation is considered a safe practice. However, there are large individual differences in how people respond to any practice. You should use good judgment, stop and seek help when necessary.
Also, in particular, for those with trauma or a history of abuse (or “fear types”), even basic meditation practices can lead to intense, and possibly uncomfortable emotions. In those cases, when doing focused meditation, it is recommended that one directs attention to an external object or the feet, rather than the breath, as the latter may trigger too many memories and emotions. Your agitated monkey-mind has taken control, probably because you are stressed and desperately trying to obtain relief. For those who don’t know, monkey-mind is a Buddhist term meaning ‘unsettled’, ‘restless’, or ‘inconstant’. That mind is invested in keeping you agitated, but don’t fall for it, it’s a trap!!
It’s important to recognize that, but also not to beat yourself up for it. Remember, there is no such thing as failure, only feedback!
4.I find myself feeling frustrated with monkey-mind when I meditate. What to do?
Meditation takes practice and repetition. Beginners can usually only “quiet” or “still” the mind for no more than a few seconds at a time. If your mind never wanders, you would not have to practice mindfulness! On the other hand, if after several days of practice, your mind just doesn’t seem to be settling, you could also try exercising vigorously before doing sitting practice, and doing yoga or tai chi or walking meditation instead.
☞Every time you’re able to catch your mind wandering and bring it back to the object of concentration, you’ve succeeded.
5.What am I supposed to do when I’m engaged in calm-abiding meditation practice?
Notice the thoughts, then release them, and go back to the object of attention. Don’t beat yourself up for having thoughts, but don’t follow them either. Don’t try to achieve a different level of thinking or stop your thoughts. When you can still your mind to a certain extent to just be with the object in a calm abiding presence, you can simply rest in that awareness. Just be.
Mindfulness gives us insight into the narrative we have about ourselves. Your ordinary mind cannot do this; remember that meditation is not done with the ordinary thinking mind.
When we think, we just stay caught in our conceptual systems, our habitual ways of looking at things. Meditation accesses a deeper mind with much greater awareness that can solve problems more effectively.
Spare even 5 minutes every day to have a calmer, better self! Set a reminder for yourself in the Insumo app, and practice each day!