One of the common questions I get asked when teaching a class or speaking to a group is, “How Do I Meditate? I CAN’T SEEM TO MEDITATE because I have all these thoughts in my head!” This is a common concern with all meditation and until you have received the facts of meditation, its easy to get discouraged. Let me begin by stating, “MEDITATION IS NOT A THOUGHT ERASER”. We are human beings with minds that create thoughts. Guess what? Even the Dalai Lama has thoughts at times while meditating.
Meditation is an alternative to the thoughts by providing a single point of focus that creates peace, calm and relaxation. There are basically 4 things that happen during meditation:
1. Thoughts – As humans we have approximately 60,000-80,000 thoughts a day. It would not be practical to sit down for 30 minutes and erase them all! Thoughts are a part of life.
2. Sleep – Yes, it is not uncommon to fall into sleep during a meditation.
3. Silence/”The Gap” – This is the ultimate place of peace and connection to Source.
4. The Point of Focus – Breath, Mantra, Affirmation, etc.
When you meditate you can expect any of the above 4 things to happen, and you are doing the meditation correctly! When thoughts come in to your mind, simply return to your point of focus. If you are focused on your breath, let the thought come up, then return to your breath. If you are practicing a mantra or affirmation, notice the thought and go back to the mantra, etc.
If you are falling asleep regularly during meditation, it probably means you need more sleep. You can also try practicing meditation during the middle of the day until you become more accustom to meditating. Rest assured, as you continue to practice meditating you will stay conscious more and more.
If you feel you would like to meditate more regularly and want to have the comfort of an accountability partner, check out our Weekly Guided Tele-Meditations. You can also listen to a free guided meditation here!
Well, its a new year and it feels like a new World. The energy has shifted and whether you believe in all that “Woo-Woo” stuff or not, its hard to deny it. Do you ever notice how things show up that match how you are feeling or thinking about? I know when I’m in a space of self pity and “woe is me” that is exactly the stuff that shows up. Unseen costs like the car breaking down or a household issue or problems in my relationships. When I’m in a state of pure gratitude and love that is what shows up too. The other day someone out of the blue gave me a sincere compliment, and last week when I showed up to teach my meditation class, the students clapped and voiced their joy in seeing me! I had been praying on my way to the center because I was late, you can imagine my surprise when I received such a warm welcome!!! I once heard Wayne Dyer say, “Life will always prove your beliefs to be true.”
Because I have been studying the power of the subconscious for a decade and learning more and more about energy fields, the connection between the state of our health and our belief systems has intrigued me. When I was very young I never wanted to say out loud I was sick or not feeling good because I felt it would then be true. I remember being really careful about what I said out loud about my health. I was recently reminded about my wisdom at a young age while reading an amazing book written by a biologist Ph.D. who taught as a professor of anatomy at the U.W School of Medicine. His name is Bruce Lipton and his book is, “The Biology of Belief”. He states:
“Because we are not powerless biochemical machines, popping a pill every time we are mentally or physically out of tune is not the answer. Drugs and surgery are powerful tools when they are not overused, but the notion of simple drug fixes is fundamentally flawed. Every time a drug is introduced into the body to correct function A, it inevitably throws off function B, C, or D. It is not gene-directed hormones and neurotransmitters that control our bodies and our minds; our beliefs control our bodies, our minds, and thus our lives… Of ye of little belief!” ~p.xxvi
This statement got me thinking and inspired me to meditate 1-2 times a day – every day! Being a slave to the “health care system” and the crazy costs is a great motivator.
Just think for a moment where your thoughts are most of the time… are they empowering uplifting thoughts or are they negative and heavy? Either way its ok, just notice it as a sign showing you where you are right now. If you want to change something, then Meditate! An easy and powerful meditation is to find a short sentence that is positive and resonates with how you want to live or feel. Write it down and commit it to memory. This becomes your affirmation. Close your eyes, take a nice easy breath in and out and begin repeating your affirmation over and over to yourself for 10-20 minutes. Of course your mind will wander and many thoughts will come. Don’t resist them, simply notice them and go back to your affirmation. Mediation is not a thought eraser, it is a powerful alternative to your normal mind set.
I invite you to create an affirmation that feels good to you and practice it in your next mediation. If you have the stamina to use it every day for a week, I guarantee you will feel an increase in your energy and more peace of mind!
If you want something guided you can check out these downloadable guided meditations or jump onto a phone meditation at your convenience here.
I fell apart sitting here today looking at pictures of my dad (who has been recently diagnosed with early signs of Alzheimer’s)…. I simply lost it. Maybe its the crazy energy today or its just time to really grieve. I’ve been loosing a lot of people… at least in the way I’ve known them, and it hurts. I am devastated still by the events at Sandy Hook elementary school. Its not just the fact that little kids died, but its how crazy and far from love our world has become. It hurts me deeply. That may sound sappy or overly dramatic but its really true for me. I sat and talked to God while in tears today and came to my truth…. the world is hurting, and I can’t help but feel it. I try to over ride it with positive thoughts and intentions, but sometimes I really need to feel it to the core. I need to recognize the truth that is happening inside me as a human and a spiritual being and then I can move forward. But, when I hold it in, I am held back. I can’t be loving or supportive to others or my family when I am lying to myself.
I came across an article noting a recent study published in Psychological Science regarding the 19,200,000 adults in the US who suffer with a phobia. The researchers discovered the best way to conquer a phobia is to talk about what is bothering us. A study was done with 88 people who had a fear of spiders. Each person was asked to approach a large live tarantula two times. The people who expressed their fear/emotions about the spider in the first round were able to get closer to the spider a week later than those who kept the fear to themselves. They also found those who expressed their fear had dryer hands the second round. So, its not just some fluffy idea to talk about your fears, it actually reduces the negative emotion. There is a lot of power in standing strong in our truth, even if its not what society, friends or family may want to hear!
It is becoming crystal clear to me that NOW is the time to honor the TRUTH – all truths. Even those that are horrible and ugly. Its time to honor both sides of the coin, to recognize the things that don’t feel good as true too. I can’t turn a blind eye to tragic event anymore than I can to my own daughter having emotional or homework issues. I do need to manage my energy and often I hand it all over to God. My biggest challenge is knowing my part and deciphering whether my ideals and desires are coming from my ego or my God.
Meditation tends to bring me massive peace and clarity where I had none previously. Prayer goes right along with it. And certain days I struggle with knowing what is my part. What do I need to be doing? I was not created to stand by and watch, I just wasn’t. I am the one who goes in and asks the hard questions, I am the one that stirs the pot when things are not right, I am the one that bruises my tongue on harsh words that I meant to be helpful, who makes people uncomfortable, and who soothes the pain when it becomes too much. God put so much fire in my make up its really uncanny… Not to mention, birthed me in the year of the Rooster who is known for stirring the pot! There is so much, and it feels like I am opened wide today with all of it.
For today, I let the God of my understanding know I am willing to be a servant of the light and the Universe. I am willing to do what is shown and asked of me even if it seems like a lot- or not enough. What I know today, is that I don’t know. I also see how much I want to know. I am aware that its all about God and letting Gods will be done, however all miracles are done through people……so…where am I a miracle worker?
Today, I send my love and my good energy to the world in pain, to those with broken hearts and broken lives. I send light into that darkness and ask that the darkness shrink as the candles continue to burn in each of us. There are no mistakes, therefore neither are you nor I.
Truth, Love, Light, and Acceptance be in you and me.
For some deep healing listen to Marianne Williamson’s talk from last Monday, December 17, 2012.
Check out this brief article about a study done at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte which states that,
“…new research now suggests that the mind may be easier to cognitively train than we previously believed. Psychologists studying the effects of a meditation technique known as “mindfulness ” found that meditation-trained participants showed a significant improvement in their critical cognitive skills (and performed significantly higher in cognitive tests than a control group) after only four days of training for only 20 minutes each day.” Read more here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100414184220.htm