“Refuse to let go and you are a person drowning; the more you struggle, the faster you sink.” George Ohsawa
Meditation allows you to let go of the struggle with unwanted negative thoughts. Regular practice will not only allow you peace in the moment, but it will literally re-condition your mind to be less inclined to hold on to negativity. It is also the perfect preparation for doing your written practices, such as a list of appreciation or gratitude.
When you have a problem, there is a temptation to focus on it and talk endlessly to others about it in the hope of finding a solution. This is the way many of us have become used to dealing with the issues in our lives. But this doesn’t work.
What does work is to turn you attention on to something else that clears your mind and makes you feel good. However, switching your attention from what feels like a problem to a good-feeling subject can be difficult. Meditation is a good tool to make it easier. The process allows you to “take a step back” from thinking and clears your mind. In this space, solutions to problems will often come to you, often in surprising ways.
There are so many different opinions on what is the best way to meditate: chant this mantra, focus on that symbol, hold a certain posture, sit in a chair, sit cross-legged, listen to music, sit in silence… There’s a lot of confusion with many people saying their method is the best one. All I can say is you will discover, through trial and error and noticing what works for you, the perfect meditation technique for you.
Meditation simply means stepping back from the chatter of the mind. I started off using repetitive, non-intrusive background music (you can get this kind of music from the New Age section in bookshops) and setting a timer for 20 minutes. In the beginning, I felt restless and a little bored. But I sat there until the time was up.
After many weeks of meditating every morning, I reached the place of what I call an Inner Bliss; a sort of nurturing void where I had stopped thinking for a few moments.
Meditation requires committed practice and it can be easy to just give up or “miss a day or two”. If you do miss a day, that’s fine, but get back into it as soon as you can. It has been said that it takes 30 days to form a new habit, so keep on going.
The more often you meditate, the easier it will be to return to that place of inner stillness and the easier your life will become.