People can come up with a variety of excuses to avoid meditation: lack of time, lack of knowledge, not being able to do it “right,” and even that they won’t benefit because they’re too scattered or stressed.
One of the most interesting excuses to avoid meditation I’ve heard, though, is their own thoughts. I’ve heard someone admit that the reason they’ve avoided meditating was that they were afraid to be alone with their own thoughts. They were afraid of what would come up.
The world offers us a lot of distractions from our thoughts and feelings. We can watch TV…
With more time on our hands than ever before, many people are trying new things these days, including meditation. When you Google meditation, though, the results you get can be not just contradictory but downright confusing.
Even the easiest questions have multiple answers. How long should I meditate? You’ll find answers from everyone and their brother, ranging from one minute to an hour to several hours. How often should I meditate? Again, you’ll find a range from whenever you feel like it to several times a day.
When you’re just getting started, this can create so much doubt and confusion…
In my Introduction to Meditation class and ebook, I let beginners know that they don’t really need anything in order to meditate. All that’s truly required is a desire to meditate and a little knowledge. But just because we don’t need anything to meditate doesn’t mean we don’t sometimes want things to meditate.
From audio tracks to journals to cushions and more, there are lots of things we can add to our meditation practice that can enhance it and make it more beneficial or even just more fun.
We don’t always want to spend a lot of money on these…
Think back to a time in your life when you picked up some new hobby or interest. Do you remember that feeling of excitement? How you couldn’t get enough of doing the activity, or researching it, or talking about it to others? It might have felt like you went from beginner to expert in a matter of minutes, right?
That’s the beginner’s mind. It’s the mind of someone with little to no previous knowledge of something, so they have no expectations or frustrations and they’re thrilled to keep learning more, trying more, and doing more.
You probably felt that way…
As a parent, peace and quiet can be hard to come by. Meditation may be your only still moment of the day. That’s why it’s worth thinking about creating a meditation space.
While you can certainly meditate anywhere, anytime, having a dedicated meditation space can have some great benefits:
Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for all other relationships in your life. If you don’t like yourself and have a poor relationship with yourself, you’ll choose toxic or abusive romantic partners and have friends who take advantage of you. You’ll fail to set healthy boundaries, say no when you need to, and otherwise protect yourself.
When you love yourself and have a good relationship with yourself, you’ll make good, healthy choices because you value yourself. You won’t tolerate bad relationships, toxic people, missing or ignored boundaries, or do things you don’t want to do.
Sometimes it’s not obvious…
When you go to the gym to work out, or hop on a bike for a long bike ride, you might expect a few aches and pains when you’re done. But most people don’t expect meditation to result in body pain. After all, it’s literally just sitting there doing nothing. How could it cause pain?
Surprisingly, meditation can require more strength, balance, and stability than you might think. And if your body isn’t strong, balanced, or stable enough, you can end up feeling pain in various parts of the body.
Before you let pain stop you from practicing meditation, try…
When we think of meditation, the first image that comes to mind is the traditional seated, crossed-leg posture with eyes closed. We might picture this being indoors or out, but with the eyes closed, it doesn’t really matter.
Meditation can be so much more than that, though. One part of meditation is connection — to self, to others, to the universe. It can also be a connection to the natural world around us. One way to connect with nature is to simply sit outside, but there are plenty of other ways too.
Consider giving one of these nature-based mindful meditations…
The breath is a critical part of meditation. But because it’s also an automatic function of the body that we don’t even have to think to do, it can also be a confusing part of meditation.
You wonder why it matters how you breathe. You question if slowing or deepening your breath really makes a difference. You wonder if there’s something wrong with you if you breathe slower or faster than the instructor describes.
You wonder how you can breathe into your belly when the air goes into your lungs — especially since you’re pretty sure the two aren’t connected.
Meditation can feel like a very grownup activity. There’s patience, sitting still, and doing nothing — and let’s face it, kids aren’t known for any of those things.
But kids can definitely benefit from meditation. It can be a source of stability and consistency when life is full of turmoil. It gives them a safe space to go even when they can’t go anywhere else. And if they can learn to do it as a child, they can be reaping the benefits long before adulthood, potentially changing their relationship with stress before it begins.
Many people aren’t sure where to…