As anyone who’s tried to meditate knows, meditating can be quite difficult at times. I know it’s taken me a good long year or more to finally realize there is no “right” way to meditate. When I first began, I actually had the hardest time just setting aside the time. I resisted even the thought of meditating. And then after a month or more, I would be able to sit for just 5 minutes until I had to lunge up off the cushion. And then I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to meditate for a few days. But gradually it took. First 5 minutes, then 8, then 10, then 13, then 15, then 19 and so on. Now, I feel edgy and unsettled if I don’t start my day with just a 10 minute meditation [which seems really short to me now!]
Even so, some days my monkey mind is an entity that won’t be tamed. Some days I’ve gone on a long trail of unconscious thinking and it’s seems like I’ve been gone thinking for most of my session before I’ve caught myself. Some days 15 minutes feels like an eternity. But then I return to the moment, to my intentions, and the remaining 10 minutes seem to speed by.
I follow my breathe some times. I say a mantra other times. Still other times, I try to engage my third eye and “experience divinity”. They all work sometimes and sometimes they don’t. And many days, the 25 or so minutes that I meditate seem like some of the best of my life.
I also have found that adding 15 minutes of stillness to my day adds a great deal to my meditation practice. 15 minutes of stillness is not 15 minutes of meditating, figuring out what’s next, what I forgot to do, or really doing anything. Instead, I take a few minutes in the early afternoon and enjoy 15 minutes in my sunroom, looking out on the hills that surround my house. I don’t meditate. I don’t try to do anything. At first, in those 15 minutes of not doing anything, I would fall asleep. But now I just sit and allow my mind to be quiet. Sometimes it takes off but now my mind seems to know this is our quiet time to just be.
Tonight, I did another round of meditation just because it felt like the right thing to do. And it was magical and I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have heeded the call. It was 15 minutes of pure delight, that welled in my belly and rose up through my whole body. I found myself laughing with the delight and savored every moment. It was the easiest meditation session I’ve had in ages. I didn’t want it to end.
I went into this meditation with the intention to be open to God, to be guided, and to just trust how things unfold. And I was able to spend the next 15 minutes meditating in pure delight.
If you’d like to try it, don’t stress out about the length of time. 5 minutes is a wonderful start! Take some time to set your intention about what you’d like your session to help you with. Then set your timer and let whatever happens unfold. It may not be magical every time, but the delight that awaits you- it’s worth your time and energy!
What are some of your best meditation techniques? Anything you’d recommend?