Welcome to Shine Meditation, and to the blog! Here I will be posting ideas, tips and answering commonly asked questions about meditation. I will also be adding some anecdotes and musings that come about from my own personal meditation practice.
Remember, I started out meditating for a lot of the same reasons you might be, and I have experienced many of the obstacles you are facing or will be facing along the way.
I’ve been sceptical
I have felt like I was doing it “wrong”
I have felt like I too busy to find the time to meditate
I have thought my mind was too busy to meditate and needed to be clear each time for the meditation to count
I have been interrupted during meditation
Experienced pain and discomfort when sitting in meditation
All these factors that present as obstacles to meditation, are all part of the learning process. Our minds are trying to maintain the status quo by being in control all the time! Letting go of this need to control and judge the practice itself, is the first challenge many will face.
You are not alone!
There are challenges, but you can still meditate and work with them not against them.
So why meditate?
This will be a topic I will cover in more detail in later posts, however just briefly there have been many scientifically proven benefits to meditation and mindfulness practices. Here are just a few
- Improved sleep
- Improved memory
- Reduced stress
- Reduced blood pressure
- Slow down the ageing process of your brain
- Pain management
There are many more benefits which I will later explore, but the above list is a pretty convincing reason to start! This is also a very new area that science is only just recently began to fund research into, but the findings so far are very promising, and not at all surprising.
There are also many more benefits to meditation which cannot be measured, its more based on personal experience and can add to your quality of life.
- More positive emotions
- Your ability to relate to yourself and identify with your true nature
- Respond rather than react to situations
- Peace of mind/mental quiet
- Less judgmental
- More compassionate to yourself and others
- Express empathy
- Self esteem
In essence meditation allows you to practice self compassion and self awareness, thus bringing those qualities into your life through your thoughts, words and actions in how you treat others. Resulting in a much more peaceful and fulfilling existence.
So why not give it a try?!
Set an intention to start a meditation practice rather than a goal or set outcome to achieve. This can be something as simple as, I intend to get to know myself better, to like myself more, to experience more inner peace, to experience better health, to have better relationships. Be open to the possibilities and challenges alike and approach your practice with loving kindness towards yourself. Let go of expectations, and just be the witness to your experience in meditation, and let go of your need to analyse how it’s going. This can be difficult in the beginning, but it will become easier with practice.
Practice regularly! Everyday if possible to see and feel real change occurring. 5 or 10 minutes a day is all it takes to start. You can sit anywhere, in any position that you are comfortable with in a place where you feel safe and will not be disturbed.
Thirdly, integrate mindfulness into your life in everything that you do to. Bring conscious awareness to every activity, whether it be walking, cleaning, working or communicating with others. It’s just a gentle shift in your attention from any distraction, back to the activity at hand, without judgment.
It’s such a beautiful journey, and one really worth every struggle. Like anything you can’t really describe just how you will feel once you start, it’s something you just have to experience for yourself to get an appreciation for. I once heard this analogy which stuck with me; you can describe what a banana looks like to a child, but you cannot tell them how it tastes. The combination of the sweetness, texture and aroma all come together to form the experience of the taste. No one else can tell you how you are going to experience the taste of that banana.