Today I would like to write about a topic that I believe is always important, no matter how many times I have talked or written about it: meditation. Meditation and the many different ways of it that exist, that are promoted and with which people struggle. And here we get to my main point: meditation should never be a struggle!
It is true, for many people it is just that: a fight against their own mind. Their purpose and reason to sit down on their mat may be relaxation in the first place but the execution of this plan does not normally work the way it should. The reason is that they think – or get told by popular meditation guides – that their aim is to stop thinking. That their mind should be empty, without thoughts.
What happens is however that they sit down on the mat and their mind starts going everywhere else and does anything but staying with them in the present moment. They have thousands of thoughts, travel to the most distant countries in their mind and then realize: oh no, I should be here, on this mat and in this moment! They get angry at their mind, frustrated about the fact that they are not able to keep it in the presence and just all in all upset.
The next time they decide to meditate, it is as though they shield themselves for a battle. The battlefield is the yoga mat or their meditation cushion. They go in their armour and with their weapons: incense sticks, calming music and maybe even recordings of instructions how to breathe and how to meditate. They are ready for the fight!
The battle is hard, both opponents are strong, the mind fighting with sometimes unfair means. The outcome is usually a victory for the mind!
You won’t tame your mind like this. Maybe sometimes you feel like you managed but the next time you try, you will realize you didn’t! I tell you however that there is a different, much easier way: let your mind go!
Yes, you don’t need to struggle and fight! You have enough struggle in your daily life, which is why you have the wish to relax your mind in meditation in the first place! Let it go and relax! The aim is to be in presence – but not necessarily with crossed legs on a yoga mat!
You can just do whatever you feel like doing, be that going for a walk, swimming, reading, painting or even working. Just immerse yourself in what you are doing. Don’t multitask, don’t think of the hundred other things you should be doing but get into your actions with your complete being. If you are painting, think of the colours, if you are walking, smell, breathe, be in your body, if you are working, get fully into your work! That is real meditation – when you are aware of what you are doing, no matter what that is!
If you are constantly ready to fight with your mind, it cannot ever relax! Be in peace with your mind and you will notice that your mind will relax as well! Don’t fight – let it go!