Why is it difficult to meditate? I’ve heard many people tell me that there are too many thoughts in their head and it is impossible to control them. But control is not what meditation is about. Then there are people who tell me that they are too restless, they just cannot keep still, or, their bodies start hurting, or they seem to dose off. Good, I say, because they are getting closer to what meditation actually is. Meditation is not only about the mind, it is also related to your body.
What is Meditation? I googled its meaning and the synonyms i got were thinking, reflection, deliberation, concentration, pondering, day-dreaming, consideration, prayer and so on, but no where did it say ‘go blank’ or ‘stop thinking’ or ‘see rainbows everywhere’.
According to yoga, Meditation, in one word is Stillness. Keeping your mind and body still, is meditation. Meditation is experiential not expressive. Our aim is to observe our thoughts and slow them down, let them go and not express them. When we clean up or slow down the frequency of thoughts, we make space in our minds. This space enables insight, creativity, intelligence and wisdom. Expressive thinking is imagination, analysis, and an expression involves speaking, moving, doing, creating. In meditation you are not doing or creating anything, you are observing, you are still, you are experiencing. You are not expressing. If you stop observing, you will dose off.
Meditation made easy: There are two key aspects that makes meditation easy:
- overall fitness
If you practice meditation first thing in the morning upon waking up, may be while you’re still in bed, you will notice that mediation becomes easier. The frequency of thoughts are fewer and you are able to keep your mind still. Your body is rested and hence you are able to hold yourself up and keep still. Good fitness of the body gives you the muscle strength to keep your body erect and motionless. It is impossible to meditate if one is weak or lethargic.
Hence to conclude, if you are wondering why I haven’t mentioned things like a strong mind or mindfulness or mind control, it is because these are the goals of meditation and not the means. Meditation helps create space in a mind that is filled with too many unnecessary thoughts. Meditation calms a restless body and gives it direction. Meditation can be easily practiced at any hour of the day. Just keep yourself still, even if it is only for a minute.