At 13 years old my psychologist recommended that I meditate, but I didn’t care to do so.
As I got older I kept reading about the importance of meditation but the word just made me cringe. I even developed a sort of hatred towards meditation.
Years went by and I heard endless testimonies about the benefits and importance of meditation, but I couldn’t care less. I hated meditating and no one was going to change my mind! Or at least I thought.
It was during my stay in the ashram that I was FORCED to meditate. I had to sit in silence, no excuses.
At the beginning I pretended to meditate, but I was actually thinking about a million things. I didn’t even try and I didn’t even care.
But I had to meditate ONE hour a day, EVERY SINGLE DAY! 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at night.
During my one-month stay at the ashram I was able to comprehend more fully the misconceptions and resentment I had towards meditation. Nevertheless, as I went deeper into it I became aware of the benefits and the power it had in every aspect of my existence.
This is how I came to write this short list of things I wish I would’ve known earlier and that can be of help if your experiencing difficulties or planning to start meditating.
Your Mind WILL Resist It.
It is very complex why the mind resists mediation, but it is NORMAL. The most common reasons are: ego, laziness, lack of control and inexperience.
Your ego doesn’t want to be tamed, it wants to control your existence, so it resists greatly to meditation, because meditation is the medicine to ego.
Laziness! Our minds are lazy by nature. It doesn’t want to put any effort into improving, that’s why it’s so hard to quit addictions, because they require extensive and excruciating mind-work.
Inexperience and lack of control are hand in hand. The mind is like a muscle; if it is not exercised it loses power, which leads to lack of control. The more you meditate, the better you get at it, just like exercising. The first time you go for a run will be excruciating. If you do it every day, after a while it will be a joyful experience.
It Can Be Hard On The Body… At The Beginning
The brutal training at the ashram was exactly what I needed. I wasn’t allowed to use a chair or recline my back against something.
I hated them for that (at the beginning).
It was painful; I could feel nerves in my back pinching and it hurt a lot. However, the pain eventually subsided. A good yoga practice is fundamental for meditation, since it also does great work on your body to prepare it for meditation.
The mix of practicing sitting down with my back straight and my yoga practice taught me the biggest obstacle is not your body, but how you train your body. If you let your body get lazy, it will do so. If you push your body to be stronger it will do so.
If you find the posture too uncomfortable or you have ailments that prevent you from doing the posture you can always use a chair. The most important thing is that you meditate and go within.
3. Your Mind Will Be All Over The Place
It’s normal!! Even now that I am committed to meditation and I focus on a mantra my mind keeps drifting away to things I have to do: life, work, whatever…
I’ve heard countless times people who complain about how they can´t meditate because they can´t control their mind, I know exactly what they mean because I have the same struggles. It is a battle, but the best thing we can do is NOT QUIT ON MEDITATION, but to continue.
It’s like quitting the gym because you didn’t get a six-pack on your first visit, it takes time, it takes practice, and it takes discipline and determination.
Perseverance is Key
I do! I wish I meditated more than I do. I continue my practice just not as persistently as I should. I do see improvement, however, my improvement is significantly determined by the amount of effort I put into it.
The more you meditate, the better that you get. Just like everything in life. You want to get better at piano? Then you have to practice more.
It Is Not About Emptying You Mind
Telling people that meditation is starving your mind from any thoughts is what makes many quit before they even start.
If you’ve ever tried to meditate you’ve noticed how hard it is to not have a single thought.
So that’s why you repeat a mantra. OM is the most common known mantra and it is also the most sacred one.
You can repeat this mantra over and over in your mind; this is how you work your mind into focusing and working into keeping other thoughts out.
OM will also give your mind, body and soul a revitalizing boost, a peaceful feeling and it will help you connect to a higher consciousness.
Meditation IS Essential For EVERYONE.
There are no exceptions. Everyone and anyone can benefit from meditation. Many universities around the world have scientifically proven that meditation has a healing power on your body in many ways. Just to name a few (because the list is endless); it reduces high blood pressure, reduces stress, improves your immune system, improves your sleep quality and it’s an aid for depression and mental disorders.
Meditation has many other benefits that are more transcendental as well, like: it makes you happier, calms the mind, and helps you live a more meaningful life. It helps you learn more about yourself and it improves your connection to a Higher Consciousness.
If children were to be taught to meditate from a young age, it would significantly improve not only their academic performance but it would also help them become better human beings.
However, if you were not taught to meditate as a child, it’s never to late to start. Regardless of your age, start today!