A common myth about meditation is that we need to stop our thoughts. It may trip you up by making you think you are ‘doing it wrong’ and lead you to give up. Just yesterday a counseling client asked me, “Shouldn’t my mind be clear of thoughts when I meditate? Isn’t that what’s supposed to happen?”
Our minds THINK. That’s what they do. Thoughts are normal. Our bodies breathe. That’s what they do. Now there are thought practices as well as breathing practices, but trying to get our minds to stop thinking is the same as trying to get our bodies to stop breathing. And if we actually succeeded in our pursuit- you guessed it- we’d be dead.
The belief that you should be able to clear your mind of all thoughts could set you up for failure. Here’s the truth… To meditate, just sit quietly.
Now if you are like me you STILL want some guidance. So here’s a simple way you can begin your meditation practice today. Follow these 6 basic steps:
- Put the timer on your phone for 10 minutes. (Use a soft alarm sound.)
- Sit up straight in a quiet place. Close your eyes.
- Take three deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Relax.
- Chose a peaceful word. Ex. Love. Gently repeat this word in your mind.
- Anytime you notice your thoughts drifting, simply return your attention to your peaceful word.
- When alarm goes off open your eyes, take a deep breath, stretch, and move on with your day taking your relaxation with you.
Know that by taking this time to relax and meditate you are doing your body, mind and soul GOOD.
Be well, Susan