I have heard on so many occasions how it is good for your mind and body and how you should practice it on a daily basis but, back in the days when I was still practicing law, meditation seemed like an impossible task for me.
I was so busy following my professional and personal life agenda that the days just didn’t have enough hours in order for me to stop, relax and de-stress. “One day I will find time and I will start meditating”, I kept telling myself… But that day didn’t come for a long time.
Later on I started practising pilates and yoga and I remember teachers telling me how meditation requires emptying your mind, thinking of nothing and just living in the present moment.
Being a perfectionist then, I felt like the greatest failure on the planet as I wasn’t able to clear my mind. My mind was buzzing constantly… Planning the day ahead, bringing back old memories, worrying about the next court procedure, wondering if I turned the lights off in my apartment, all of those things creeped into my mind when I was supposed to think of nothing.
Being used to learning quickly, I thought “You know what – obviously meditation is not right for me. I can’t sit peacefully here for an hour as I have so many things to do. What a waste of time, let’s move onto the next chapter in life!”
Does the above sound familiar to you? Do you share the same problems, same dilemmas about meditation? If yes, then please keep on reading because I think you will like the part that follows.
Being very interested in Buddhism, I started discovering more about meditation, as I had a hunch that maybe the teachers I was interacting with, just didn’t comprehend the true essence of meditation.
Not long after, I spent a great deal of time at a monastery, absorbing Buddhist teachings and meditating with monks. It was then and there that I realised the misconceptions that Western culture holds about meditation.
One of the greatest illusions that we hold is that meditation means clearing your mind of all thoughts and pursuing a blank mind. But that is the biggest misconception ever. Why? Because when you start, it is just impossible not to think. The human mind is designed to think. Thinking is an ongoing process and there’s nothing wrong with that.
What is wrong is just our misunderstanding of its true essence. In its core, meditation helps us to become aware or conscious of the thoughts that occur in our heads and of the feelings that arise in our bodies. It doesn’t fight against thoughts and feelings, on the contrary, it embraces and accepts them as part of a normal process and by embracing and accepting them, it helps us understand how we create the reality in which we live and that eventually empowers us to change whatever we want to change in our lives.
Meditation isn’t religious, nor is it a mysterious practice. It is just a stepping stone towards life filled with love, happiness, satisfaction and fulfilment. Meditation helps us to distinguish between our thoughts and desires and those thoughts and desires that were planted in our mind during our upbringing and subsequent cultural conditioning.
Why I recommend meditation practice on a daily basis and why I integrate it as an essential part of my coaching practice, will be discussed in my next blog post, so please come back next week.
Till then, follow your heart, even though it’s on the left, it’s always right!