Why I'm becoming totally sold on "Meditation"

Tuesday, August 20

 The thought of being required to meditate daily this year as a part of my Yoga teacher training, initially both terrified and fascinated me.  Meditation is not something that I ever encountered whilst growing up, and until I read the book Eat Pray Love, it wasn't something I'd ever given much thought to.

I went to a mediation class earlier this year, which I've discussed on here before, and was fascinated by the teachers explanation of why meditation is so beneficial to us.

He discussed how there is a universal energy that we can all tap into, and how when there is so much that can be gained by being still and and looking inwards, we instead chase external sources of knowledge.

He says that there is energy emitted by all of us, and this originates at a cellular scientific level. We all know the feeling of entering a room and feeling that someone doesn't like us, or of being drawn towards another person.  Meditation, he says, helps everyone to access more of the good energy that the world has to offer.

He went on to describe how the roots of many religions lay in that of meditation and prayer, and that this has been lost over the years, and gave the example of how most of the monasteries in Tibet were ruined during China's cultural revolution.  Monasteries that were cultivating the art of meditating and being still.  Children apparently grasp the concept very easily, until the age of 8 years, where our ego's become to big and then our ability to meditate diminishes.

Armed with this knowledge and the fact that everyone who I meet that meditates swears by it, I have been determined to tray and do at least 10 minutes of meditation a day for the past few months.

It has not been easy, my mind throws all sorts of random items on a to do list at me, chastises me for not being more efficient and before I know it I'm reaching for my phone to send a text or email that I've just remembered and needs to be done NOW.

I will the thoughts to disappear and I've tried the gentle acknowledgements of the musings of my mind...

Unfortunately, my thoughts are not that easily quietened.

But despite all of this,

I've started to notice a pattern.

On the days that I do the 10 minutes of "meditation", I feel calmer more organised and generally more comfortable in my own skin.

When faced with a long to do list, sitting quietly for 10 minutes before wildly trying to get things done, makes me so much more efficient. It seems to help me prioritise things in my head, and then get what I need to get done, more quickly and more confidently.  The nagging voice in my head that judges for me for not being as organised or productive as I would like to be, also seems to mute for a while too.

I read something the other day that said 

"You should meditate for five minutes every day, but when you're really busy, you should meditate for an hour."

And I am more and more inclined to agree.

I write the word 'meditation' in inverted comma's above though, as I'm not convinced that I'm actually properly meditating. 

I've certainly had none of the outer body experiences that I've read about, nor has an hour disappeared in what felt like a few minutes.

I think what I'm doing is "concentrating".  

According to the Yoga Sutra's though, Concentration needs to be achieved before Meditation can be conquered.

My brain has far too much, although usually inconsequential, information swirling about in it to allow me to just completely zone out for those 10 minutes.

And so that's why I need to try and trick it a little. By giving it something to focus on, that is enough to keep it occupied, but not enough to send it hurtling down thirty different thought paths at once.

Soo many people have asked me recently how they can try to start meditating.

I think that more and more we are realising the importance of stilling our own minds.

Gurudev, who started the Integral branch of Yoga that I'm training in, 

"Aim for a clean body and a quiet mind."

And really, what could be more important than this?

This post is getting very long as I ramble on, so tomorrow I will share a technique on how to learn to Meditate, Concentrate for beginners.

You should really try it.

I'm totally convinced:)

On a side note, the picture above that I took last week in the Cotswolds makes me feel peaceful.

What makes you feel peaceful?
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