Following a Process gets you INTO Meditation. What to do Next can be Confusing
In the beginning, one must learn how to transition from the alert, awake state where eyes are open and our minds are very active into the inward focused state known as meditation. It is common to face some resistance to going inward because it is less familiar and not nearly as interesting (in the beginning).
Compared to watching YouTube videos, texting a friend or physical activities like playing volleyball on the beach, focusing internally on your thoughts and feelings can feel like work. Not everyone finds this exploration into themselves compelling.
But for those who want to understand their minds and change certain behaviors (like being anxious frequently, frantically planning every detail, or procrastinating away life etc), you will have to face the challenge of learning how to drop into meditation.
Entering into meditation is one step but it’s not the same as actually meditating. Consider the analogy of swimming. In order to swim, you have to be in the water and deep enough that you can’t just walk along the bottom. You need to get to a place where you use your body in a horizontal manner to propel yourself as you float in the direction you want to go.
Getting to a place where you can swim requires some prep like the correct suit, entering the water where you aren’t in danger of getting hurt and a mindset to exert a good effort. To actually swim, you need to understand how to move your body so you can continue breathing, remain buoyant while also moving forward.
Getting ‘into’ meditation means learning how to transition from the awake/alert state to the inner focused state which is still alert but is more relaxed and contemplative. Once you have relaxed sufficiently, now the challenge is what to do with your mind, how to make sense of your emotions and how much emphasis should be on your breath.
If you explore ways of meditation on YouTube, you’ll find a lot of free instruction. Problems may arise when different teachers teach in ways that present inconsistencies. Without any accountability, it’s easy to think you are making a little progress. But what if you could really understand what you are trying to do and have good tools to succeed?
Here are some pointers;
1. Getting into meditation is easier than actually meditating. You simply need a process and then you need to do it each time you sit down with little variance.
2. Once your body and mind have settled down, you’ll find yourself in an unfamiliar world where thoughts and feelings are very much right in your face. Now the question is what to do?
How do I actually meditate?
Meditation is the act of directing your attention upon lines of thinking or feeling that you wish to explore consciously. If your mind is making those decisions, you may often find your attention going to anxious, worried or impatient lines of thinking. This is why something wiser than the mind must be the director of your attention.
This is where the soul begins to become a real thing. It is the part of you that directs the mind for the purpose of a fruitful meditation. Once you are relaxed and feel conscious of being in meditation, look for that voice in you that has a desire to explore a certain aspect of your life. It won’t be the mind.
Finding that voice which is distinct from the mind begins a major liberation. You’ll see that you have choice as to what the mind concentrates on. As well, you’ll see that the mind fights against you. It likes to be the part that calls the shots. Through meditation, you learn a new way.
If led by good teachings and disciplined follow through, this change of ‘leadership’ can trigger a major transformation. Learning to meditate starts with transitioning from an outer focus to an inner focus. But really meditating means knowing how to direct the mind using the intelligence and wisdom of the soul. It’s easier than you think but probably a little harder than you’d like!