Updated: Jul 4
I’ve been meditating off and on for 15 years, but more consistently in the past 5 years. Ive always thought because I wasn’t consistently meditating that means I don’t really meditate. Eventualy self sabotaging myself from continuing. Then it dawned on me, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Meditation is a practice. I found this as a parallel in zen meditation where you let thoughts come and go like clouds passing, trying not to let them carry you away, always returning to your breath when they do. I let the thought that I’m not a “good” meditator sweep me away not returning back to my meditation/breath for weeks, months and sometimes years.
You might say, but Cassie not all thoughts are self sabotaging or bad. Some thoughts are fun, exciting and necessary. Problem solving and puzzles are even healthy for the brain to engage in. I would say, that is absolutely true! You see, those thoughts that are going to be the ones that you will justify the most when you’ve been swept away. Meditation is the practice of training yourself that you can control your thoughts. That you are the observer of your thoughts. The thing about problem solving or overthinking even, is it’s linked with the ego or “the self”. I don’t mean ego as we think of it in the west, although there are some parallels. Ego is more than being full of yourself, self centered or flat out rude. The ego is our sense of self that separates us from everyone else. When we tune into our ego or don’t give it enough breaks from thinking we can loose sight of compassion and the idea we are all one, that we are all made of the same star dust and that we are just walking each other home. The ego is efficient at taking charge and creating this idea of self but when we quiet that voice we start to notice that we are actually observing those thoughts, meaning we are not them. We are the being, the non action. This is the great feeling you get, like a warm hug from a loved one when you hit that sweet spot in meditation.
Wait, what? Sorry Cassie I tuned out when you started rambling on about we’re all “one” and walking each other home. I just want to be less stressed and I heard meditation is good for that? Yes! Sorry my bad, that’s just been my experience. With that being said there are so many different types of meditation that you can practice that will help quiet the mind giving your hard working brain a rest, some that help alleviate physical pain and others that will make you feel uphoric.
Just know, if it’s been a long time since you focused on your breath, been engulfed by the present moment, or since you’ve done a more traditional meditation. There’s good news- you still have a meditation practice! This is your reminder to put more energy into your practice. Make those in between moments where you’ve been swept away smaller. Come back to your practice. Come back to your breath.
Check my step by step guides to some of my favorite self guided meditation.