This is an extract from today's Monday Meditation Musing .. our free e-news each Monday morning straight to your inbox. Bringing a meditative thought to your week. If you would like to join the 'tribe' you can sign up through the link below.
THE CHALLENGE OF MEDITATION
It can be so easy (and tempting) to read and talk about meditation, go on retreats, attend classes, discuss the finer points of technique or schools of thought - but that's not meditation.
To have a meditation practice means that you actually 'do it' (as Nike says) .. we sit down (let's talk about movement meditation later) and shift our focus inward .. finding a point of balance .. still of body and mind ..
Before you've practiced, the theory is useless.
After you've practiced, the theory is obvious.
Meditation is like any exercise, you can read every book on building muscles but until you break a sweat you will have zero benefits. You have to start - you have to do - there are no shortcuts.
I have found that the first (and possibly biggest) mistake in starting meditation is .. procrastination!
Procrastination is when you receive this email .. and your first thought is "I'll get to this later". We are all now living now in the 'knowledge age' and we are constantly bombarded with information .. details, words, thoughts, sights, sounds .. so that many of us have settled into a state of perpetual edginess for the next big thing, the next shift, newness, entertainment value, more fun, more stuff ... this constant urge to move on, jump ahead, find something more interesting, something more entertaining.
But when we live this way .. we miss the moment we have right now. And we then have to carry around this need to 'come back later', which in most cases we won't, which means we always feel like there is something we have forgotten, something we are not doing that we should or want to .. which leave a residue of missing something.
JUST A LITTLE BIT!
Imagine that getting started is the only thing in the world that matters.
Remove all distractions, turn off the phone and move away from the computer.
Just sit and focus on getting started.
Not doing the whole meditation .. just starting.
Close your eyes.
Relax your body.
Give yourself 60 seconds.
Pay attention to your breathe.
Notice when your mind urges you to switch to something else (Facebook will be there later, that call can wait, and you can eat in a minute).
Just for this next breath .. breathe.
Don't move, but notice the urge to.
Dont' ruminate/fantasise/analyse, but notice the urge to.
Allow these urges to simply pass on by .. like puffy clouds in the sky above.
Notice this breathe.
Then, notice this breathe.
As long as you like.
Just a tiny step of peacefulness.
Once started .. the rest will flow.
Each time you have a moment.
Without a goal or a timeframe.
And soon you will want to continue longer.
Meditation will find you.
And then .. it's done.
You found the starting point.