Updated: Jan 16, 2021
The easiest way to heal the mind and body is to meditate.
Does this statement make you cringe? Isn’t it the most annoying piece of advice? I mean, WHO can actually meditate easily, and enjoy it?
We often tell ourselves, “I can’t meditate, I can’t sit still or shut my mind off. My mind is just too busy; it’s not possible.”
However, that is not what meditation is all about. Yes, that is the goal, but not a requirement.
It's true that many who have practiced meditation for many many years or entire lifetimes can achieve this “ideal state” and literally shut their mind off on command. But trust me, these rare individuals likely don’t have much to shut off at this point anyways. They’re already rooted so deeply into their inner peace, that the mind is naturally quiet.
The conscious awareness of these individuals is stronger than ego, or their thoughts. They can sit back and simply observe their thoughts without getting pulled into the stories of the mind.
So for them, “shutting off” everything is just one step, or one breath away. And how do they get there?
By PRACTICING meditation. A LOT.
I’m saying MANY years, decades, and entire lifetimes of practice.
Yes, there’s an extremely rare few that are what you’d consider “natural” at meditation. In those cases, I still say even that is a development over many past lifetimes.
So if you feel like it’s completely IMPOSSIBLE to meditate, give yourself a break!
Perhaps you have a young soul. Perhaps you have endured trauma that triggered a shift in your thought patterns that are often negative and extremely hard to control. Perhaps you have very high or low energy that makes it difficult to concentrate.
Perhaps you’re one of the billions of people on Earth that just find it challenging to quiet the mind. And that’s ok! You’re certainly not alone.
I’m here to reassure you that no matter how hard it feels initially, that just like anything else, consistent practice is all you need to break down the wall of resistance, to take meditation off the pedestal, and let it become one of your most valuable tools.
It’s unfortunate that in our culture, we seem to be convinced that we must be naturally talented enough to achieve perfection quickly, otherwise we’ll “never” be good enough. We compare ourselves to all the perfection we see on social media and allow ego to run wild with thoughts of impossibility and hopelessness.
More often than not, we give up before we even begin!
But what if we took a simpler approach?
Instead of forcing ourselves to master our idea of meditation immediately, and likely never actually sitting down once to do it, why don't we start with just one breath at a time?
I bet you can do it right now!
Take a deep breath in, counting the length of your inhale. Then slowly breathe out, counting your exhale.
There, you just did it!
Even though our culture loves to pretend that we can multi-task, we really can't. The human brain cannot think about two different things at one time. So when your focused on counting your breath, that's all you were thinking about in that very moment.
1, 2, 3, 4, in.
1, 2, 3, 4, out.
While counting, did you notice your thoughts fade into the background?
That, my friend, is meditation!
Dhyana, or meditation in Sanskrit, translates to contemplation or reflection. It is the 7th limb of yoga's 8 limbed path. The 8th limb, Samadhi, is the state of pure bliss or enlightenment. That's the LAST step! And meditation is the last before it!
Of course it's not easy to just dive into meditation, especially without first growing through the other preceding 6 limbs. I'll dive deeper into each limb soon, but as you might imagine, the conscious breath, Pranayama, and concentration, Dharana, are two of them.
And by counting your breath, you can practice both in just 10 seconds or 10 minutes.
As you get started, the length of time doesn't matter. Start by counting just three rounds of breath. Work your way up to ten breaths.
From there, perhaps you listen along to one of my short meditations or listen to calming, instrumental music. Or focus your attention on a Drishti, or focal point, like the flame of a candle. Maybe you explore reciting mantras or words instead of counting breaths. For example, "I breathe in peace, I exhale calm" is a simple mantra to signal to your body that it's safe to relax.
Let yourself take baby steps! That's how real progress is made.
With consistent practice, whether for 30 seconds or 30 minutes a day, it will start getting a little easier each time. Before you know it, the word meditation will no longer feel like a daunting impossibility, but a warm invitation to find peace in your pause.
Don't believe me? Try it for yourself!
Try out my weekly meditations online on Zoom. In just 30-minutes, I'll guide you through gentle movement to prepare the body for relaxation, breathing exercises, imagery, and positive affirmations. No need to worry about keeping time or coming up with words or mantras on your own; let me do it for you!
With consistent practice, you might just be amazed by how easy meditation really can be.
View my current online schedule and sign-up here:
And always feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or feedback. I love to hear from you!
May you find peace one breath at a time.
Sending lots of love and light always,