Are you thinking about starting a meditation practice?
Only three things can happen during meditation:
1) You have thoughts.
2) You fall asleep.
3) You enter the stillness between the thoughts.
You can be reassured that meditation is always healing and that your body takes exactly what it needs from your practice. If you fall asleep it is because you were tired and needed rest. If it happens a lot, you're likely overtired and need to get more sleep at night. Give your body the rest it needs. Also keep in mind that meditation itself is wonderfully rejuvenating. Spending thirty minutes meditating is more restful than sleeping the same amount of time. During the practice of meditation, the mind-body dips into silence and comes in and out of thoughts many times. This cycling between the depth and the surface of the mind is a natural and necessary rhythm in which the body releases stress and the mind gains glimpses of its true nature.
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your daily meditation practice:
- Have no expectations. Sometimes the mind is too active to settle down. Sometimes it settles down immediately. Sometimes it goes quiet, but you may not notice. The goal is not to control the process.
- Be easy with yourself. Meditation isn't about getting it right or wrong. Surrendering to whatever happens is also an indication that you are on the right track.
- Be present. If your attention is somewhere else, thinking about your next appointment, errand or meal, gently shift your attention back to the breath or your mantra.