Are you trying to learn how to meditate and don't know where to start? Here is your Meditation 101 and your guide to starting to feel better in every area of your life...
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8 THINGS I WISH EVERYONE WOULD STOP SAYING ABOUT MEDITATION
Now that meditation is becoming more of a mainstream thing, there is a sea of confusion around many aspects of the practice such as:
- How best to learn
- What to do about all of the thoughts
- Whether you even need to meditate
This lack of understanding is leading well-intentioned practitioners and poorly-trained teachers to imply things about meditation that are at best misleading, and at worst, contributing to the mass ignorance surrounding this beautiful, yet simple practice.
Here I’ll break down some of the most common misinformed remarks you've probably heard about meditation, which will hopefully bring you some clarity and greater comprehension...
EVERYONE HAS A TO-DO LIST. HERE'S HOW TO MAKE IT PART OF YOUR MEDITATION
Ah, those to-do lists. Thoughts about all the "stuff" we need to do are a special part of meditation — especially for us modern folk.
We sit, and we focus on our breath. We do so for approximately 25 seconds before we focus on what I like to call the mental choreography of our day. We create the list(s), run through the moves, shuffle, reschedule and post reminders — including the reminder to meditate. Then we return to the breath.
Mental choreography is often viewed as a problem and hindrance, something that gets in the way of the meditative "good stuff." But, as usual, the problem is only a problem when we perceive it to be.
Planning for the future (including the movements of the day ahead) is a part of our brain’s job description. It knows that rehearsal is important for performance and rehearse it will do. Such planning is hardwired into the most ancient structures of the brain. In fact, it’s all part of how the brain copes with the uncertainty of the future. When we understand, and accept, that (and why) the mind will wander off onto our to-do lists, we can learn to accept both moments of mental choreography as well as the moments in between...
30 SIGNS YOU'RE BENEFITTING FROM MEDITATION, EVEN IF IT FEELS LIKE YOU'RE NOT
Meditation is a practice that can feel wildly counterintuitive. One morning you're floating in a blissful paradise, and the next your mind is busier than Times Square on New Year's Eve. It's sometimes impossible to know whether or not your meditation is actually working.
The mistake new meditators often make is to look for signs of success within the meditation itself. But success in meditation should not be measured by the frequency or content of your thoughts during the practice. True success can only be determined by what happens outside of your daily practice.
Below are 30 less obvious but more accurate ways of gauging success in meditation. In other words, if you're new to meditation and you begin noticing any of the following changes, rest assured your meditation is working in spite of how busy your mind may seem during the practice:
- Your body prompts you when it's time to meditate.
- You feel energized.
- You're sleeping better at night.
- You're less needy.
- You're less controlling.
- You're able to see the silver lining in seemingly bad situations.
- Your cup is half full more often than not.
- You're more fearless in life.
- You worry less about things you can't control.
- You're more adaptable to change.
- You stop identifying with your ego as much.
- You take rejection a lot better.
- You get sick less often, even when you're around others who are sick.
- You enjoy your own company a lot more.
- You're more daring in life.
- You prioritize your self-care routine.
- You're more decisive.
- You're more present.
- You feel like a time billionaire.
- You're more compassionate...
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