The skeptics guide to meditation and becoming your own inner guide
Meditation has come a long way in terms of being accepted and integrated into 21st century western culture. But here’s the problem, everyone has gotten so hung up on the right kind of meditation or finding the best guide, that they’re not doing the work. This is how it was for me. I had practiced yoga for around 12 years, which moved from a more physical practice to a more spiritual practice as I grew into the practice and myself. (Don’t let the word spiritual scare you, it’s my way of expressing inner transformation and connection. This is all just as easily described by psychologists, which is what I am by training, as it is by gurus and guides, like Maslow who said the goal is self-actualization.) But, meditation as a regular practice still eluded me. I would experience lovely savasanas (corpse pose at the end of a yoga practice where you let the work “sink in” and integrate with your being) and beautiful experiences with guides such as Ram Das, Gabby Bernstein, Deepak Chopra and Rachel Brathen, whether in person, video or through their words. But, I couldn’t get it to stick. Here’s how it would go down…
Hmm…. That last one hit the nail on the head! Then I’d have to think, well what is my intention here, what do I need? What am I trying to do? And then I’d mentally scan my life, fruitlessly trying to think of the TRUE PURPOSE of the mediation I needed to do today (25 minutes in)
I kid you not, this is what I would go through every time I wanted to settle in for a meditation. Until one day, I was listening to a podcast with a man who spoke to his practice of just SITTING for meditation. No special music, guides, crystals, incense, rituals etc, just sitting. Not that any of these things are bad, and I think under the right circumstances they can be useful tools, but at some point you need to rip the meditation band-aid off. No more meditation for beginners where they talk through the entire time, how are you finding silence when you’re actively listening to someone ramble on about how relaxed you should be for twenty minutes? (again, exaggerating a bit here to make a point). So that’s what I decided to do, I immediately came home, went to my meditation “spot” (this is highly recommend doing- creating a space in your home ready for you to meditate at a moments notice-I’ll discuss this more later) and sat.
After my first session, I decided then and there, that I would go on a journey to see where this simple method of meditation would take me, if I could accomplish this much in the first 40 minutes, what can I accomplish or realize after a month? Six months? A year? I felt the power of this simple act, the power it held, I held, to change my life. Even if you read nothing further than this page, remember this, all you need to do is sit and STAY there. Just stay, get quiet and listen. You are wise beyond your wildest dreams, you just forgot who you really are and need to go through the process of REMEMBERING.
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