I first began to meditate over 10 years ago. It was something that I explored as I practiced yoga more and more. I found meditation to be difficult, but I kept coming back to it. Something drew me into the practice but I didn’t know what it was at first. I just knew that I liked having it in my life and really that was enough for me to keep practicing it.
Since the beginning of my meditation practice, I’ve found that meditation brings me a sense of centering that I don’t get in other ways or places. It took practice but meditation now gives me a sense of grounding that I can’t imagine living without.
Now, I admit that at first my meditation was sporadic. Some days I would meditate & then I would take days or even weeks off. However long of a break that I took, I still kept coming back to this practice.
Since that beginning, my meditation practice has shifted, morphed, simplified and grown. For at least 5 years now, I’ve practiced meditation on a mostly daily basis. Occasionally while I’m travelling, my meditation practice will take a short break or even just be a few breaths here & there, but I always come right back to the more steady practice that I’ve had for years now. Again, I keep getting drawn right back to this practice.
When I first started meditation, I was under the impression that I had to sit still, close my eyes, breath deeply, empty my head of all thoughts & achieve a new level of nirvana. I often couldn’t sit still for more than a minute or two before I needed to wiggle or found my thoughts drifting in to distract me. I usually felt like I was failing and would never ‘get it’. I stuck with it though because I knew the benefits outweighed any need to wiggle.
Since that beginning, I’ve explored many different types of meditation. I’ve meditated in public and private. I’ve taken the opportunity to meditate on my own rock while out hiking. I’ve tried walking meditation, seated meditation, and repeating a phrase or word over and over. I’ve meditated on my own & been guided through meditation.
While I now have preferences as to how I like to meditate, I can find benefit in each of the many ways to meditate that I know. Through all of these different types of mediation, I’ve learned that there is only one ‘right’ way to do a meditation practice. And that ‘right’ way is to just do my meditation practice. It doesn’t matter what form that it takes. It matters that I do it.
Just as the type of meditation isn’t the key to my success, the length isn’t the key either. I get more out of 5 minutes of meditation a day, then I do out of a 1 hour practice once a week.
When I’m consistent with my meditation, that’s when I notice the biggest changes. It took me years to get to where I was consistent, but now that I’m in that place, I have a hard time imagining life without my meditation practice. Being consistent brings me a sense of being more centered and more connected to myself.
And, when that happens, my life is just so much better. I get along with others more because I am more connected to myself. This means that I have less friction in my life and that is a huge benefit.
The opposite holds true as well. When I neglect my meditation practice, life just seems a bit harder. I’m not as centered so things take longer to do. I’m also much less connected to myself, so I’m not doing the things that I really need to do for me. I’ve found that when I neglect my practice life is just not as good and I’m very willing to take the time each day to meditate simply to make my life better again.
So, now my practice still varies from day to day. Sometimes I might meditate for 20 minutes in a seated position. Others, I might walk through a labyrinth and meditate on an aspect of my life. When life gets super full or I’m traveling, then my meditation might look more like a couple of deep centering breaths before I start my day.
No matter what form it takes though, my meditation is a necessity in my life now. I need it to keep that connection not just to myself but to the world around me. It’s a part of me that I rarely neglect. Give it a try. Even for a 2 minutes a day. Pick a form of meditation and see how it starts to change your life.
I’d love to hear what meditation has done for you. Leave me a comment and share your thoughts.