How to Meditate to Feel Better?
‘Meditating is like taking a journey on a train’.
Imagine that you are on a train journey. You are sitting facing the window. As the train moves, you are aware of the outside sceneries. You also note that the train stops at certain cities and that at times it is held.
Regardless of what happens out there and which city the train stops at, you stay in your seat. You continue on your journey, letting the train ‘transport’ you until ‘destination’.
This is what happens in meditation.
Thoughts, images and emotions might keep on arising, but you stay in your seat and do not engage with anything that comes in your way. Even though you might be tempted to leave your seat and go with the thoughts, emotions and feelings, you stay in your seat. The only thing that you are aware of is your physical seat, i.e. your grounding points, your physical structure and your breath.
All you need to do is to let yourself be ‘transported’ by the breath. The more you are willing to stay in your seat & ‘let yourself go’ to the breath, the further you travel as there is not an end to this journey. It carries on and on, moving you to different ‘places’.
Mindful awareness of the breath is the easiest way to start meditation. This is all you need to learn how to meditate and to get far with your meditation.
How to meditate – instructions:
Sit comfortably in a quiet place for at least 1 minute being mindful of your breath with an attitude of love and acceptance towards yourself.
Keep your regular 1 minute practice at the same time of the day. Do this at least once a day. The Journey begins Now!
You will be surprised how this small step will change your life!
Q & A on How to Meditate – Useful Suggestions:
Can I change meditation?
If you want to learn how to meditate, it is highly recommended that you do not change your daily meditation, until you have learned how to get into a state of meditation and what meditation is really about.
If you keep on changing and experimenting with different meditation techniques e.g. mantras, sounds, meditation music etc, you are likely to get lost and not go far. Persevere and focus on the breath.
How do I sit for meditation?
If you want to learn how to meditate, ensure that you are really comfortable in your seat whatever that means for you – e.g. on a comfortable chair, sofa, etc. It is a good idea to support the spine against a wall, cushion, chair, etc. Muscles should not be tensed. Ensure that you are not interrupted by sudden noises – in time you will learn not to engage with any background noises.
Are there any obstacles?
There are no real obstacles. However, if you have not been on this journey before and you do not know the road and where you are going, you perceive things happening on the journey as obstacles.
Also it is normal to experience some resistance when a change is introduced. Start now and keep the journey your focus.
What might happen along the journey?
Learning not to dwell with external stimuli might take long time. In the current society we are trained to engage with external stimuli and to satisfy any desire and want as it comes to our mind. The advice is to keep on going back to the breath, ‘return to your seat’.
Learning not to dwell with negative thoughts and emotions might take a long time. In order to meditate there has to be harmony in the body, mind, spirit system. Until you get to a place of harmony, you are just practicing concentration and sense withdrawal.
Meditation starts when there is a sustained flow of awareness, which comes not by applying will power or by controlling the thoughts, but by experiencing a space of harmony and freedom. When you are in this space there are no thoughts and feelings.
It might seem a contradiction. This is why meditation must be practised. It is beyond what I can express with words.
Are there physiological changes?
As you learn how to meditate and practise regularly, physiological changes can occur in your body. As the body is not used to them, a feeling that the heart rate is jumping or stopping, a feeling of trembling or being beyond time and space can be experienced for fleeting moments during meditation.
Why do I have bad feelings and thoughts?
This question is not helpful as it keeps you emotionally aroused and caught up in thoughts and feelings. ‘Why’ is not important; what matters is that ‘you have a choice’ not to go down that road.
In meditation, you are rewiring your brain not to follow the same pattern over and over and over. You might need to win over the initial resistance, after which meditataion feels the most ‘natural’ thing.
What about if I experience intense negativity?
If you want to learn how to meditate, you need to come from a place of acceptance and love. If you experience a phase of negativity towards yourself or others, which is really interfering with your meditation, then use the following (or a similar affirmation): I deeply & completely love & accept myself. Keep on repeating it until you feel you are in a neutral state, then return to the breath.