Well it’s been almost a month since my last post. Things are picking up and calming down in good ways. I got the chance to spend the long weekend in the woods on a lake, Meditating on a dock in the sunshine (FYI put on sunscreen!), listening the the water lap against the shore is blissful!
This got me thinking about meditation. Getting a good meditation routine is tough. I know I don’t meditate enough. This is sad because there is so much evidence for the benefits of meditation. When I do have a good run of meditation, I can feel it.
A lot of people have a static image of what meditation is. Meditation doesn’t need to be sitting motionless cross-legged under a tree, or on the dock in a lake. You can meditate while walking, sitting in a chair, and if you won’t fall asleep, you can meditate lying down. If you get uncomfortable, or your foot falls asleep, you are allowed to move. Movement is not forbidden. You also do not have to have a perfectly still mind with no thoughts. Thoughts happen. We are human. It’s recognizing that you are having thoughts, observe it, and try to let them go while you bring your focus back on your breath. Some people will count to 10, and when they notice a thought, they go back to 1. Most people don’t get past 2 or 3 before having to go back to 1 when they are starting to practice meditation. That is okay! Some people will repeat a word or a phrase either aloud or in their mind, a mantra of some sort if you will. This gives them something to focus on so their mind doesn’t wander. Some people will put on soothing music, or recordings of chants to help them calm their mind.
If silent meditation really isn’t your thing, you can try guided meditation. There are many different types of guided meditations. Do a quick search on YouTube and you will find over 1.5 million meditations!! Try a few. Some you might like, some you might hate. I have found some that are helpful, and some I roll my eyes at and hit “next”.
There are many different apps for mediation too! Two of my favourites are “Headspace”, and “Insight Timer”. Headspace has 10 free ‘how to’ meditations that help you build a routine and become comfortable with meditation. They have a monthly fee option as well that gives you access to 100s of different meditations. I have not tried the paid service, so I cannot vouch for that. Insight Timer has
timers, access to 100s of free guided meditations, community options, and you can see how many people were meditating at the same time as you (who were also using the app).
There are no strict rules on meditation. You can meditate for as long oras short as you like, in any position you want, and in any style you like. You do you. Go ahead. Give zen a try.