So I tried meditation and I found that my mind was way too busy. Aha, yep we’ve all been there, in fact, I was on a recent call with a mew meditator recently who said:
Sometimes my meditation feels more like my shopping and to do lists…
Now before we dig into that, here are a few quotes that I want you to devour.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on a busy meditation – “Even in a shallow dive, you still get wet”
“When cleaning a room it often gets messier before it gets orderly. This is the same with your mind. So be patient and persevere with your journey. The only way out is through.”Neil Strauss
So here can be an example of someone’s meditation practice:
Rise and shine, It’s a beautiful dawn, the sun is just about to crest the horizon and the morning magic is in abundance. Ah yes, this will be a truly beautiful meditation, connect to the source, the sacred or just some time out in zen mode. Yep sounds good.
Now get cosy, close the eyes and calm the mind.
Okay, now quiet the mind, mind please get quiet, mind stop thinking now, now, hmmm it seems like the mind didn’t get the memo.
I”M TRYING TO MEDITATE…. STOP THINKING
Yep, it’s like the minds the last to know that we are trying to meditate hey? Can be a little frustrating? Seem like this is counter-intuitive to what we are actually trying to do?
Well, its a case of the yes but no… it’s right on queue, the mental defrag.
And welcome to the biggest misconception of meditation.
Meditation = no thought, or a quiet mind.
Now sure, we can have meditations where it’s like riding the silky waves of time with no friction, just effortless flow in the moment, throw in a dash of some bliss chemicals and welcome the wonder of pure consciousness. All stress dissolves and you are floating in the serene totality.
Wouldn’t it be good if we can bank those experiences for our daily meditations…
But with the relative world, we live in, with the stresses and pressures and huge consumption of information our brains are at a constant state of overwhelm, so Nirvana is not the instant priority for our practice.
It’s stress release, with a side of neutral indifference to what plays out in the chair.
Cause as you all know, stress (not just someone getting stressed out, stress on our nervous system) is a real killer. And it robs you from who we truly are.
Science shows that a stressed out brain does not give you access to your full faculties of the genius that you actually are. When you think about our nervous system it’s a phenomenal system.
Anyway back to meditation, and bare with me here, I will come back to the busy mind in a moment.
But first, let’s look at the KEY reason most of us come to the practice.
There is some stress that resides within us that comes out in some way, such as:
- Stressed out
- Lack of sense of self
- Lack of direction
- A desire for a deeper connection
- Longing for more
I consider all these states are derived from an element of stress within the mind/body.
After all, if we were totally content, fulfilled in all areas and beaming with happiness would we really search for anything? I’m guessing not, after all that sucker is an ancient, allusive quest!
Now the reason it’s important to understand why we come to meditation, is it can help us to stay on track for when we are having periods of busy meditations, it can be a little challenge to get out of bed early to make sure we get our 20 minutes in, or after a long day set aside the time for the practice. Can be hard but so so important for our well being.
Now hopefully you can remember the 3rd session of the course, where we go over the diagram of stress and the interplay of the mind and body during meditation.
And that thought is the byproduct of stress being released from the body, as we store mountains within our nervous system (what is displayed is the tip of the iceberg, hence why you can see an old lover that jilted you and all of a sudden out of nowhere you feel all those old feelings hijack you. That’s unconscious stress.), so when we start to pick up the mantra we enter into a meditative state.
Regardless of thought.
Science shows us that within minutes of picking up our mantra our metabolic rate drops by 24% (sleep is only 8%) and this is why we get such a deep state of rest in the nervous system.
Consequently, as the body starts to drop, we start to release stress, then the mind-body connection kicks in, the mind experiences the wave of electrical activity of the stress release and how does the mind work, it turns experiences into thoughts.
So how do we learn to accept and embrace these busy meditations?
This is where it is so important to have an understanding of what is playing out.
Waves and waves of unconscious stress being shed from your nervous system during busy meditations.
We learn to embrace these busy meditations and celebrate the work we do.
And this is where ensuring you also have the correct meditation technique also comes into play, as if you are forcing meditation you are not doing it correctly. Meditation should not feel like a fight…
If you feel like you are failing at your practice call your teacher and if you do not have a meditation teacher get one, not a meditation practice then learn one.
To see our upcoming learn to meditate courses click here: Learn to meditate