In the midst of life's bustling chaos, finding a quiet haven within ourselves can seem like an unattainable dream. Yet, within this whirlwind, there exists a simple yet profound practice that can anchor us – meditation. Welcome to the realm where your mind can wander, where the soft whispers of your thoughts are acknowledged, and where the true magic happens in the gentle return.
"I can't still my mind." How often have we stumbled upon this thought while attempting meditation? It's a sentiment shared by many, a common initiation into the world of meditation. But here's the soothing truth – it's not only normal, it's a part of the process that should unfold.
Meditation isn't about forcefully quieting the mind; it's not a battle to be won. Instead, it's an exploration, a delicate dance with your thoughts. Minds are naturally restless, curious creatures. Like a playful butterfly, they flutter from thought to thought, from memory to dream. This dance is intrinsic to our human nature.
Picture this: you sit down to meditate, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. Within moments, you find your mind wandering, thoughts flowing like a river. And then, a tinge of frustration might creep in – "I'm not doing it right. My mind is supposed to be still." But remember, this is the exact terrain where the journey begins.
Meditation doesn't hinge on suppressing thoughts. It's a serene sail along the river of consciousness, allowing thoughts to come and go, just like leaves drifting on water. The secret lies in becoming an observer, in witnessing the wanderings without judgement. This act of noticing is your anchor, your guide back to the present moment.
Meditation isn't a test; it's not about perfection. Instead, it's a gentle tool for befriending our internal landscapes. It's an invitation to sit with our thoughts, feelings, and sensations, nurturing a deep curiosity about ourselves.
Imagine this – rather than viewing your wandering mind as an adversary, what if you saw it as a window into your inner world? With each drifting thought, you catch a glimpse of your aspirations, your fears, your joys. Meditation becomes a mirror, reflecting the myriad facets of your being.
As you journey through each meditation session, remember that you're not striving for an elusive destination. There's no need to "fix" your thoughts or to chase after stillness. Instead, embrace the fluidity of your mind, the ebb and flow of thoughts. This practice of gentle return, of bringing your focus back, is the heart of meditation.
It's akin to watching a sunrise – the sun rises, but it may hide behind clouds, only to emerge again. Similarly, your attention may wander, but with tender awareness, it can return to your breath, your mantra, or any chosen anchor. With each return, you're not starting over; you're simply continuing the beautiful dance.
In the sanctuary of meditation, you are both the dancer and the observer. The moments of stillness, when they arrive, are like the pauses between notes in a melodious symphony. But remember, the notes that create the melody are not only the ones played in silence; they're the ones that flow seamlessly, sometimes dancing and twirling.
So, as you sit in quiet contemplation, let your mind play its tunes. Let it wander, and then gently guide it back. Embrace this practice not as an act of perfecting, but as an act of curious self-discovery. Witness your thoughts with kindness, knowing that in this gentle exploration, you're opening doors within you that have longed to be unveiled.
Release the weight of expectations; let meditation be your gentle companion. With every breath, every returning thought, you're embarking on an intimate journey, painting a canvas of your essence with each brushstroke of awareness.
If you are not sure where to begin on this journey, here are a few simple steps you can take.
Step 1 Set the Scene: Imagine yourself on a boat in calm Whitsunday waters. This boat symbolises your meditation practice, and dropping the anchor represents resting your awareness on your chosen anchor, for eg. your breath, a mantra, a sound, or an image etc
Step 2 Allow Drifting: Understand that your mind will naturally drift away from the anchor, just as the boat drifts with the wind and currents. This drifting is a normal part of the process, and there's no need to fight it.
Step 3 Embrace the Gentle Tug: Just like the boat eventually receives a gentle tug that brings it back towards the anchor, you'll have moments of awareness where you realise your mind has wandered. This awareness is your cue to gently guide your awareness back to your anchor.
Step 4 Repeat and Flow: The drifting and returning are cyclical, much like the boat's movement. Allow this ebb and flow.
In the realms of meditation, there's no right or wrong – only the boundless beauty of discovering yourself, one gentle return at a time.