How many of us have started meditating because we have been told that we will feel better, clear our minds, and be more productive?
But what we weren’t told is that this doesn’t happen right away. A lot of people tell me that it doesn’t work, they have too many thoughts. What it is not known is that this is the first step. Notice that you have thoughts. See that there are a thousand of them and you don’t know what to do with them, and get back in the body, on the breath. And at the beginning you sit for a second mindful, focused on the breath, and for 5 seconds the mind goes away to other thoughts. And then you notice again that your thoughts are gone and you return to breathing. And so on. At first, your mind will probably go away quite often. But progress does not mean that you have no more thoughts, progress means that you are conscious enough to be able to accept that you have thoughts without judging them, to let them go and to return to the body. At some point you will be able to be in the body for 5 seconds, and your thoughts will go elsewhere only for a second. And you’ll let the thought go and you’ll focus on your breath.
If no one has explained this to you so far and you feel that your meditation was not a success, you would think that there is something wrong with you, that you are not competent or that it is something you could not do. Or you might think it’s not you, it certainly doesn’t work, why would anyone waste their time with it. Well, studies say that mindfulness works, and it’s a good technique for calming, reducing stress, and improving mental health. If you feel that it would be easier, you can try more active exercises that support your interest, or guided meditations – it will be easier for you to keep your attention.
Steps to follow
You sit in a comfortable position and focus on your breathing
You notice that you’re starting to have thoughts
You accept without judging that those thoughts exist and you let them go. Imagine them as clouds that are carried away by the wind
Return carefully to the breath
Repeat as many times as needed
Finally, I will leave you with a mindfulness exercise that is very dear to me.
Have a piece of chocolate, a raisin or any other food you enjoy to taste.
Take it in your hand, look at it as if you were seeing it for the first time. Do you feel her weight? Explore every corner of it, you may see something you haven’t noticed before. Take it between your fingers, explore the texture. How does it feel? What if you hold it in your other hand? Smell it. Does it smell? Is it intense or very subtle? Slowly put it on your tongue without chewing. Move it through your mouth for 5-10 seconds, pay attention to sensations, texture. Bite only a piece of it. Feel the texture it has. What does it taste like? Notice how your mouth prepares to swallow before taking this step. How does it prepare, how does your tongue move? After swallowing, notice the taste left in your mouth. Is it strong? Do you feel it? Do you feel the urge to go after a new piece?