I have observed some interesting things in my students especially when they first start to try and meditate.These little tips may help you navigate your way forward in your practice.
TRYING TOO HARD. When my students try too hard in some way they make it far more complicated.It seems that we someetimes have this burning desire to master things in our lives and this leads to trying to hard. If we see it simply as a chance to relax and cultivate self -awareness things tend to fall into place naturally and we get to enjoy all the benefits that Mindfulness meditation can bring.
RESTLESS and /OR IMPATIENT. Sometimes my students ask how long will this take me to master ?They get frustrated and often have high expectations that something amazing is going to happen because they have heard that it is something magical and that it can change your life.YES indeed …it can change your life !If you can become aware of your frustration and impatence and desire to change things or master things this can eally help.If you can just become aware of your emotions this means that you are becoming more self- aware and if you persevere you will notice the benefits and the restlessness will settle within just a few weeks.
BORED. If you are someone who finds it hard to sit still you may find it boring when you first start to mediate.Learning just to sit with a feeling of discomfort can really help and if you really can’t cope you can always try some mindful movement exercises like Qi Gong or Tai Chi.My advice is to follow my 3 P’s:Perservere,Be Patient with yourself and Persist. In my experience learning to meditate is one of the most beautiful gifts that you can give yourself and the others around you.
CRAZY THOUGHTS. We cannot STOP the thoughts.Our intention when meditating is to increase the space between the thoughts, not stop them as this is pretty much impossible.The mind does not want to be quietened.It can help if you just acknowledge any thoughts and bring your attention back to you breath.
AN ITCH. Lots of teachers advise just acknowledging an itch as a distraction and trying to let it go.I often encourage my students to scratch the itch and come back to the breath.The same goes for being uncomfortable.I suggest that everyone make the adjustments to allow themselves to be comfortable.I used to sit through pain and intense tingling in my feet As I have advanced in my practice I always make the relevant adjustments to allow myself to be as comfortable as possible and this ensures that my practice is much more enjoyable.If it is enjoyable then we are likely to return to it the next day and do it all again.
If you are having a bad day and you are finding it near impossible to meditate despite your best efforts, maybe you are experiencing some intense emotion…then it is O.K just to STOP(We all have those days.) and perhaps try and later or tomorrow.