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Let’s Start With My Number 1 Piece Of Meditation Advice:
Don’t make a big deal out of meditating! Don’t stress about it. Just do it. That makes the whole process much easier.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Woo hoo! Welcome!
I’m so happy to have you join us for “How To Meditate – Made Easy”!
I really hope that you find the next seven days have a beautiful impact on your life.
Students tell me that they feel calmer, less stressed, happier and more connected, even after just a week of playing with this stuff – and I hope you’ll feel that, too!
The great news is that meditating for 10 minutes a day can help you to feel great, even after just a week. And it doesn’t matter where you’re starting from.
Whether you’re a newbie to meditation, or an old hand, wanting to rekindle the habit, “How To Meditate – Made Easy” is a great place to start.
We’ll be covering the basics of how to meditate, how to make it comfortable, how to overcome the common hurdles and how to avoid the problems and mistakes that often cause people to give up. Some of it may be familiar to you; some of it may be new.
And I don’t ask you to believe everything I say! I’ll be sharing with you the techniques and strategies that I teach my face-to-face students and my online students for my premium meditation courses and – as with them – all I ask is for you to ‘try things on for size’. If it works for you, great. If not, how about tweaking it, so it does?
It is my deepest wish for you to experience that the next 7 days really make a difference to your life.
People who have made a commitment to regular meditation say that it helps them feel more calm; it helps them create a little sanctuary in their day, no matter how stressful life is. And whatever it is you want from the next 7 days (and beyond!) I really, really hope you achieve it.
I really hope you enjoy your journey – thank you for allowing me to share it with you.
Shall we get started? How about starting with what on earth ‘meditation’ is?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]
What Is Meditation?
I’d like to start answering this question by sharing with you a slightly embarrassing confession:
It was only when I started formally training to become a meditation teacher that I realised that in 20 years of studying and practising meditation, I had never actually meditated!
Whether it was twisting my legs into a pretzel or having to take on new beliefs, it was all about doing what I was told in the classes and retreats – and every one of the teachers had their own prescription for what was necessary. An each CD I bought or online course I took was full of tinkly music and soft voices guiding me to relax and visualise things, but most of them weren’t actually teaching meditation.
It seemed to be all about drifting off to ‘somewhere lovely’ ~ but this wasn’t really meditation. It was a form of very relaxing and fairly enjoyable escapism, instead.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but that kind of ‘meditating’ wasn’t getting me to that happier, calmer inner-peace-type place I wanted to be living. Instead, it was allowing me to temporarily escape the stress and worry, but it wasn’t changing me, at any deep level. It wasn’t helping me to feel less stressed or calmer, outside of the meditation time.
It’s a pattern I have seen with my meditation students, over the past years, if they have done lots of meditation before coming to my workshops or taking my online courses. Most of them had been taught that meditating is about ‘escaping’ and ‘disconnecting’ and ‘going to a special place’ – anywhere but here and now.
Meditation is about smiling and accepting life, not trying to avoid life! As I studied how to teach it, I realised that meditation isn’t about escaping from what’s ‘here’ and disconnecting from your physical experience.
Meditation is about opening your heart to living in this present moment – with full acceptance and awareness – so you can set yourself free from the stories your Monkey Mind has been telling you and reconnect with the essense of who you really are, with a big fat grin on your face. 🙂
That sense of stillness and peace that carries you through your day… Mmmmm! Delicious! 🙂
That’s when meditation can help you to feel calmer, happier, less stressed, less anxious, more at peace, more in flow, more connected, less worried, less negative, more confident and to generally fall in love with life – during your meditation and beyond.
And it’s much easier than you might think ~ when you know what works for you.
And that’s what we’ll be starting to explore, over the next 7 days.
The answer to the question of ‘exactly’ what meditation is will depend on your culture, your religious and spiritual beliefs and even the influence of the media, wherever you live.
In some places, it is called meditation. In others it is called mindfulness. In many situations these two terms are inter-changeable, though there are some key differences, which we will be covering in a moment.
There is no one-lined answer to explain what meditation or mindfulness is, because it is such a personal experience.
However, in general, meditation is about finding inner stillness – about letting go of the drama and stresses of everyday life and re-connecting with the part of us that contains our deeper wisdom. It is about being fully aware in the present moment – truly living life, rather than just living a ‘version of life’, as narrated by our unconscious mind.
In classes and retreats, meditation is often confused with deep relaxtion. But they’re actually very different beasts:
What is the difference between meditation and deep relaxation?
Deep relaxation is about relaxing the body and mind – and re-energising. You are aiming to fully engage the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, to be able to fully let go and relax, physically, mentally and emotionally.
Meditation is about being relaxed (or you can’t do it!) but also alert – focusing and concentrating, in order to reach a sense of stillness and wellbeing. It is about getting the parasympathetic (relaxation) and sympathetic (‘fight or flight’) nervous systems into balance. It’s hard to concentrate (vital for meditation), if you’re too deeply relaxed.
And tinkly background music, whilst it can be beautifully relaxing, is simply a distraction. It is hard to concentrate when you have music playing in the background. So I don’t use it with my meditations. You’ll find periods of silence, in between the prompts. And that’s completely intentional! 🙂
Sitting in silence is something many of us find challenging. That’s why we tend to drown out the silence with TV and radio on in the background all day.
My invitation to you is just to suspend how you would normally react to this quiet time, for ten minutes a day. You never know, it could make a huge difference for you.
And finally, for today…
It’s time to bust the #1 meditation myth (aka ‘excuse’!) that I hear from my students:
“But I can’t shut up my mind!”
It’s an excuse we often use, to get out of ‘having to’ meditate. But:
You don’t have to shut up your mind and stop thinking to be able to meditate.
Many expert meditators can’t do that yet. Some people find it easy. But the fact is that most of us have got Monkey Minds or grasshopper minds, leaping from one thing to the next. And there’s more to meditation than an empty mind.
You don’t have to make your mind go silent to be able to benefit from meditation.
If that’s what you’re aiming for, you’re likely to be disappointed. Just think about how many decades your mind has been taught to chatter. Yes, you can quieten your thoughts and slow things down using the simple techniques that we’ll be covering during the next four weeks. But if you’re aiming for total ‘mind-silence’, then you’re setting yourself an extremely high standard to reach.
One of the keys to meditating well – or enjoying mindfulness practice – is to accept your mind. It’s about setting yourself free from being attached to your thoughts, letting go of fighting them, so you are better placed to choose thoughts that create inner peace and happiness, rather than stress and anger. You don’t need to shut up your mind, to be able to meditate.
Meditation is a process that helps you to quieten your mind, so it is really the other way round!
How about letting me know what you think about this one, over at the discussion thread?
Click to Tweet: You don’t have to shut up your mind to meditate. In fact, it’s the other way round.
Right! Are you ready to get started?
It’s time to download your 10 minute meditation MP3. It works best if you download it, to listen to offline because:
- Sitting in front of you computer to meditate isn’t exactly ideal 😉
- Internet connections often pause during playback of MP3 files, giving you gaps you weren’t expecting, which gets annoying
- It means you can load it onto your phone, iPod or other MP3 player and you can listen to it, whenever you want to – your meditation is always there with you
To download it, RIGHT CLICK on this link and choose ‘save as’ or similar from the menu.
Or, if you can’t download it (please try first! 😉) here’s link you can click to play it online:
Then all you need to do is to sit and listen. Couldn’t be much easier, could it? ;-)[/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″]I’d love to hear how you get on today.
I’ll be back tomorrow when we’ll be talking about the many benefits of meditation (a great round-up of what to look forward to) and some insider secrets to help with your posture.
With love, Namaste,