Having Trouble with Meditation?
You may have seen me talk about starting meditation 12 years ago when I was a freshman in college. At the time, the class my therapist sent me to was on Zen meditation.
But they didn’t tell me that.
Meditation, as a theory, wasn’t even well introduced in the class. Zen meditation teaches you to calm and completely silence your mind.
What changed my meditation practice was the day I realized that “sitting in total silence, and entirely silencing my mind” wasn’t the only type of meditation.
There are thousands of types of meditation. Some as simple as being aware of how many birds or butterflies or blue cars you see in a day. Some bodylove meditations have you apply lotion to your body for a number of days being mindful of body positive mantras.
Walking meditation brings mindfulness to the your environment bringing you into the moment and aware of cars, lighting, sounds, and creatures, rather than trudging with your nose to the pavement.
Zen meditation is wonderful, and once I managed to grasp some control of my mind, I was able to work with it better. In Zen meditation, you are normally seated and attempt to clear the mind by focusing on the breath and normally the breath alone. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, allow all your thoughts to pass through your mind as though they are floating through two doors. This seated meditation is often what you see in the “Hollywood” vision of meditation (monks on cushions in pretzel-like positions).
Transcendental meditation is the practice of focusing on one thing: counting, a mantra or things you see. Another example is sound: First the sound you hear within your body, then within the room. The sound you hear outside the building, and the sound you hear farther away.
For a long time, I didn’t like guided meditations. I felt like they distracted me. I’ve found though, that I love the meditations that Deepak Chopra leads (he offers free 21 day experiences several times a year at https://chopracentermeditation.com/ ). In some of his meditation experiences, Oprah and Deepak will briefly discuss a topic, with further details and a mantra added. After he introduces a mantra, he then plays soft music for about 8 minutes, allowing time for meditation.
Deepak decodes more types of meditation here.
If meditation is a struggle for you, comment below and let me know what you’ve tried. I’d love to give you some suggestions on other practices that might work better for you.