You are seated at the top of the highest mountain, top of the world, then slowly, the world starts to move away from beneath you, further and further away, until finally it disappears completely. You are seated at the centre of the universe, all around you and within you is pure and unconditional love, feel the warmth of that love surrounding and pervading you.
Sound at all familiar? Meditation. I’m currently in the midst of an intense yoga teacher training in Croatia and i’ve been meditating for 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening every day for two and a half weeks now. I wake up at 5.30, chant at 6, then meditate till 7. Same in the evening at about 6.30. The details of the times are unimportant. The point is i’ve gone from someone who would meditate for about 5-10 minutes every now and again, guided, or just in shavasana at the end of a yoga class, to someone whose meditating for an hour a day, sat upright, crossed leg, straight back plus meditating for about 5-10 minutes before and after the two asana practises of the day. What a change!
I want to say something inspiring like its been such an easy adaptation and I love meditating. To be honest it was the one thing that I dreaded every day. Waking up before sunrise was fine, waiting for an extra hour to eat dinner was fine, 4 hours of yoga in the heat, fine. But knowing that everyday without fail I would spend over an hour, alone, with, MY THOUGHTS, was petrifying. How much I dreaded it was a sure sign that it was something that was really beneficial for me. Damn it.
So i’m sat on the floor, crossed legged, trying to stop slouching, then slouching, then lifting, twitching, sweating, trying to curl my tongue back, then giving up, focusing on my mantra, then suddenly involved in a discussion with my ego about what will be for dinner, replaying what that person just said, their face when they looked at me, the pose I didn’t do, the pose I did do, the flaw of the day on my face, the pain in (insert todays body part), the hunger, or is it hunger, have I eaten too much, too little, done enough, said enough, been enough, remembering something that happened 6 months a ago, a day ago, the email I read, what I should have said. It’s exhausting!
The mind is a drunken monkey bitten by a poisonous snake.
Think about that for a minute. How hard is it even just to think about that one sentence, focus your mind on it. You probably can’t. You sit in meditation and your bombarded and your astounded. You want to drown out the noise with a television show, music, conversation, food, anything! But all day thats going on. The only thing that changes is your awareness of it.
Meditation is still a battle for me and i’m not looking forward to this evenings meditation. But just sitting, trying, and being aware of your thoughts is so transformational. Showing up each day, the same time and sitting even for five minutes, even if your mind goes crazy, is doing so much good for yourself you have no idea. By being aware of the chatter of your mind, you can become more still and be able to think clearly about the things that are actually important.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes!