A MEDITATION THAT’S LESS FRUSTRATING AND MORE ENJOYABLE
There’s no denying that meditation can be bloody frustrating! For me, it’s hard enough to set aside the giant to-do list of “other stuff” to make room for “doing nothing”, but then to fail at the simplest instruction – like focus on your breathing for 10 breaths – now that’s a practice of grit and determination.
That is, until, I had the realisation (again) that mediation is unlike any other activity that we pursue. That it’s the “failing” at meditation that is actually the celebration.
And that’s something that deserves a high five.
How we talk to ourselves during meditation can have a profound impact on whether we find the practice enjoyable and therefore whether we continue doing it.
In the beginning, we’ll likely approach meditation with the same expectations of other endeavours.
If I follow the meal plan and train 6 days a week, I’ll get toned abs.
If I follow the recipe and use quality ingredients, the meal will be delicious.
If I put $100 per week into a bank account, I’ll accrue this much interest.
If I can count 10 breaths without thoughts intruding, I’ll be a great meditator.
But what’s important about meditation, and perhaps unlike other activities we pursue, is that it’s the process of “failing” that is actually the celebration.
Instead of congratulating ourselves that we could count 10 breaths without getting distracted, it’s the realisation that we’ve awoken from a daydream that deserves all our praise.
So in this meditation we’re going to practice celebrating these wins.
Giving ourselves a mental high five every time we come back to the present. Celebrating our awareness with a mental pat on the back.
And what we’re doing is strengthening our mind with positive reinforcement.
Increasing the enjoyment we feel in meditation, which will inspire us to practice more often. Now, that’s a goal worth achieving.
As you sit here quietly, first decide on the object of your meditation.
It could be your breath.
It could be sounds.
It might be sensations in the body.
Or you might choose compassion or gratitude as your focus.
Whichever style you decide, it’s pretty well a given that you’ll get lost in thought again and again. That some storyline will captivate you away from your purpose.
But it’s all good! Because whenever you notice that, you can give yourself a mental high five.
Because this moment should be celebrated. This moment should be applauded.
Like encouraging a child who’s learning to swing a bat.
Or a puppy that’s learning new tricks.
Telling yourself, from that same place of patience and enthusiasm, well done for noticing the wandering.
Well done for sticking with it.
Concentrating all of the praise on returning to the now rather than whether you were able to achieve a meditative state.
Because the reward of being present is presence itself and needs no accolades.
So high five to you.
High five to persistence.
High five to patience.
High five to resilience.