Think you can’t meditate?

Category: Article or Blog Published: Tuesday, 21 July 2015 Written by Sarah PJ White

Meditation. It’s something we think of as quite simplistic, but also something a lot of people often struggle to implement. When it comes to the art of meditation, we often think of it as just that – an art form. Something reserved for those who can naturally do it and those who have studied this form of art.

However, meditation DOESN’T have to be difficult and it doesn’t have to be something that is studied for years before you can do it.

Our expectations of meditation

Think of meditation and the chances are you’ll think of the following:

  • A monk or revered person
  • Silence and stillness
  • A quiet, still, silent mind
  • Peace
  • Sitting for hours
  • Candles and incense
  • Being without or abstaining

It is these preconceived expectations of meditation that are often our real problem. They can cause a block around our ability to actually carry out the act of meditation. And it is these expectations that are actually stressing us out more – as we believe there is a right and wrong way to meditate.

Why we meditate

The definition of meditation is this: ‘The act of meditating’. Nothing more, nothing less. Meditation is contemplation, thought, deliberation, musing and reflection, to name a few synonyms. There is nothing mentioned in that definition about who has the ‘right’ to do it, how it is completed and what it relates to – other than the act of ‘thought’ itself.

So stop and think for a moment.

What you’ve just done is meditation in its simplest form.  See how easy that was? You thought about one specific thing for a split second and let your thought just be there.

Meditation can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. It is giving yourself time and space to have a moment of deliberate stillness.

The different ways to meditate

There are five different forms of meditation technique, as evolved from Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism and, as you now know what meditation is in its simplest form, you can look to expand your knowledge and experience of it.  The five forms can be described as:

  • Mindfulness meditation – concentrating on your breathing and focusing on nothing else. You can easily do this whilst sitting and/or standing.
  • Heart-centred meditation – focusing on your heart chakra, whilst breathing slowly. Imagine the colour green or pink and feeling behind it.
  • Reflective meditation – this is more about disciplined thought. It’s focusing on a theme, question or general topic and analysing and reflecting on it.
  • Concentration – focusing on nothing and letting thoughts that enter your mind drift away, without giving them any focus. This is the basis behind all other meditation techniques.
  • Creative – focusing on a quality such as love, forgiveness etc. and allowing those feelings to grow inside you.

So why not let go of your preconceived ideas around meditation and give one of these five a go?

As with anything, meditation gets easier over time, especially as you learn to focus on one specific thing. It’s about acknowledging your thoughts and, without judgement, just letting them go and bringing your focus back to your initial point of focus. Try it – and see how much easier it can be for you!

Learning to Relax and Meditate is a workshop I love to run. Find out the next dates and reserve your space by email:

Or you can buy my Yoga for Beginners DVD direct from my website

Image courtesy adamr/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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