Associated with the lotus flower position, sitting for hours in pure silence, and the hues of incense filling your space while mind-over-matter flows in waves through your gray cells, the practice of meditation goes beyond the generic public view and encompasses a deeper misconception.
I am taking on the misconception surrounding mindful meditation.
When I was first introduced to the art of meditation many moons ago, I fully embraced it. A small Buddhist temple in the north of Chiang Mai warmly welcomed me. In 1998, I immersed myself in the foundational aspects of meditation.
I wore white clothes and slept on a mat. Temple rules stated one hour of talking per day and diligently followed my teacher’s guidance in cultivating mindfulness. I eagerly prepared myself to enter a meditative state of mind alongside fellow seekers of zen, quietly surrounding me.
The intensity overwhelmed me, and questions like “Is this really something for me?” or “Will I be able to continue this without guidance?” arose. However, I now look back at this experience with a progressive thought pattern. For me, meditation is an invitation to explore my own self and reduce stress levels.
The core purpose of meditation, in my perspective, is to increase happiness, promote a sense of calm, and regain control. There are no rigid rules when it comes to achieving these goals through meditation. It is about finding what suits your individual needs and preferences.
So, why should one continue doing something that does not work and cannot be sustained? It is important to acknowledge that what works for one person may not work for another. Some individuals may find value in immersing themselves in dedicated retreats, where they spend days delving deep into their minds, bodies, and souls to achieve their desired outcomes. I respect and honor those who choose this path.
However, it is crucial to give things a try in order to determine if they work for you personally.
For me, it is all about taking a step back and discovering what truly relaxes me. I have found my own ways to reach an awakened state of being that may not align with the more conventional definition of meditation. Activities such as focused breathing, reading, engaging in physical movement, observing the sunset or sunrise, and listening to music with noise-cancelling headphones all contribute to my relaxation and inner peace.
Ultimately, the goal is to find practices that bring us joy, calmness, and a sense of well-being. It is a journey of self-exploration and discovery, and what works for one person may not work for another.
The key is to be open-minded, try different approaches, and embrace what resonates with you personally.
Even if it is only for 15 minutes, and the calming effect kicks in. It brings a smile to my face. It makes me forget all the stressful situations of the past and present.
When stepping on my coaching path to thrive, we will find ways that work well and practices that will not direct you to the Holy Grail. If you accept that making changes in existing habits to reach your goal comes with deviations, obstacles and wrong turns, there are always ways to get you back on track.
And that suit you.
If it is too complex to maintain, it probably is too complex. As with everything, keep it super simple and you’ll notice one’s initial thoughts surrounding mindful meditation will evaporate like snow under the sun.
Just like how I have experimented and finally found my meditative preferences, so can you. I just scaled it down, broke it even further down into smaller pieces and use it as a base to grow my happiness factor.
Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against your challenges. So relax. | Bryant McGill