Mediation seems to have this connotation that you are supposed to sit still in a silence and think of nothingness. Just empty your thoughts and go to a place of blank empty space. Soooo, let’s discuss how that is a myth and let me explain to you why.
Sit still in a room with nothing on. No TV, radio, no outside noises that you can control. Now…think of nothing for a minute, I mean nothing. Not about dinner tonight, what you are about to do when you finish, not if you can do this exercise, don’t think about why you are trying this LOL, not about picking up the kids or how you are going to pay that bill that’s due….I’ll wait…it’s only a minute, right? AND… if you tried this you will find, if you try it 1000 times, you won’t be able to do it. I mean, maybe if you are a skilled monk or true ancient Ninja…Who can control your inner chi, then maybe you are the Iron Fist (comic reference for you comic geeks out there LOL) Howwwwever, for us normal folk…your mind is not geared to shut down unless you are sleeping and even then its wanders into a dream land and you are “thinking” about something.
Mediation is really about relaxation and becoming centered. Thinking about one thing, just one thing and not letting your mind wander from thing to thing, as we tend to do, for a certain amount of time. It’s basically a training exercise for our mind and body that teaches us how to control our thoughts and relax when we need to, instead of spiraling out of control when our minds seem cluttered with EVERYTHING.
A lot of people start off a mediation practice by thinking about their breaking pattern because in a lot of ways it is the easiest things to focus on in the beginning. Also, relaxation comes with proper breathing technique…in through the nose, filling your belly with air – not your lungs (for a certain amount of seconds) your belly should expand and your chest should not rise when doing this Out through the mouth – sometimes even making a almost snoring sound from your throat, exhaling all the breath from your belly as it collapses -belly to spine- (for a certain amount of seconds). Why did I put a certain amount of seconds you ask? Because in the beginning you may only be able to inhale and exhale at 3-5 second intervals, if you keep it up you will find those intervals will increase. Hence; training exercise, but that doesn’t ever sound sexy when you put it with the word meditation, because everyone thinks of meditation as such a zen space, not something you have to work to obtain. In the beginning you may only be able to focus for 3-5 minutes but your build each week and try to get to 20-30 minutes. Some will even meditate for an hour. I don’t require that much. 30 minutes is my max and 20 is about my norm. As you progress in your practice of meditation you will change from thinking about breating to thinking on one thing. For some it could be a mantra, or a prayer, or any one thing that makes you feel at peace – this is where that zen state comes in I suppose! It’s really just trying to ensure you stay focused on the one thing you want to think about at that moment and not letting your mind get the best of you and start going all over the place while you breath and relax. I’ve been asked do you sit up or lay down. That is a personal preference really. I like to lay down on my back on a flat hard surface, preferably with a yoga mat, if I am not too sleepy, because that is where I feel my most at peace and my body is in it’s best alignment. But I’m not quite this flexible 😂 =======>>>>>>>>
I’m more of a lay flat with your arms laying down to your side in a super relaxed state (GOOGLE search the yoga pose CORPSE..super easy to do)
However I think you should do what ever makes you feel the most comfortable. I don’t want to fall asleep when I meditate so that plays a factor. **Side Note: There is a certain type of mediation you can do to help you fall asleep as well that works like a charm if you are one of those people who cannot shut off your brain once your head hits the pillow. I use an app called Calm and it works every time, even though I think I can beat it to the end, it always puts me out. LOL
Meditation has helped me so much with my MS. Crazy as it sounds! My brain fires at what seems like 1,000.000.000 miles a minute. If this is the first blog your have read from me, you may not know this, buy my daughter also has MS. She was also diagnosed with adult onset ADHD. Her neurologist believes it’s linked to her MS. Like myself we both have our issues with shiny object syndrome or better known to some movie enthusiasts as SQUIRLLLLLLLLL.. I also have a slight form of OCD which my neruo thinks could be linked to my MS since it wasn’t an issue I had as a child or young adult. I’m not knee deep in it, but I have some quirks for sure. So when I’m spinning out of control or if I can’t figure out why I can’t get one thing done before the next thing is in my lap, these are the moments I will choose to meditate. Once I am finished I seem to gain some clarity and can put a list together and prioritize my life for that moment and make it work. It’s strange to say, but I can’t seem to get that list together and make it work until I get that clarity. If I try, even that list will become a sore source of my spinning out of control. Oddly enough if I can put a list together early in the morning I am usually okay. I get more foggy and cluttered as the day progresses. So if the list happens to not get structured before that sets in, my meditation pulls it all back together for me. Kind of like wiping my slate clean and starting over for the day. I call that a win-win! Mostly because before I started this practice I would just be frustrated at the fact I couldn’t get stuff completed at the end of the day because I was ALL OVER THE PLACE. I’m pretty much opposed to taking any drugs unless it’s all out necessary. So this is a holistic approach that keeps me grounded and doesn’t take hours out of my life. Much like my exercising, it’s something that keeps my MS in check and makes me a happier Ninja!
One last thing…And PLEASE always remember this…when you start off you don’t have to be prefect! JUST START… Because there is not right or wrong way… just A BEGINNING to your journey!