Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the things that need to get done? Do you lose sleep in the middle of the night thinking about what you forgot to do or worried about what is going to happen the next day? How are you going to squeeze it all in? Do you have a hard time NOT thinking while you are trying to meditate? Or actually not being able to find time to meditate or slow down at all because you have way too many things to do?
I think most of us would answer "YES" to many of these questions. There are a zillion things floating around in our heads...so many choices...so many unknowns.
One of my favorite things about Chakra Dyana Meditation is that we use a very simple mantra. We use a word that we all focus on at the same time. When we use our voice to focus on the one sound that we are making it forces our mind to tune in to that one thing to the exclusion of all others. That is the point. Thoughts will tend to come through while we are meditating but instead of trying to STOP these thoughts from coming I suggest we actually allow them to come without engagement.
Do not struggle to stop them because the very act of trying to stop them from coming will distract you more than the thoughts themselves.
If you think ABOUT the thoughts you may have an inner dialogue which may look like this:
"I will not think about other things during meditation. I will clear my mind"
"Oh no! here comes that thought again"
"Why am I thinking about that again?"
"I will not think about that any more"
"Here comes that thought again"
"Why can't I stop thinking about that?"
"Is anyone else thinking about other things?"
"What did she say?"
"Am I doing it right?"
"There is that thought again"
"I won't think this much next time"
"I will try harder next time...it didn't work"
May I suggest an alternative? What if when a thought comes you practice WATCHING the thought go by? Do not engage with the thought. Do not analyze what the thought is doing there or what you can do to prevent it. Let it be. Let it float by. The thought has nothing to do with your meditation. It has nothing to do with the time you have gifted to yourself for peace, calm and connection that you desire.
The more you step back and let the thoughts wash over you and leave without engagement the less they will come to you. Your mind will get used to trusting that you will get back to those thoughts later - when you are ready. They have no place in the time that you have set aside for yourself. They will leave if not entertained. Those thoughts will get bored and learn their lesson - there is no place for them in your meditation time. Do not worry if they come to you, pay them no mind - give them no part of your attention.
Once you are able to grasp this idea perhaps meditation will be easier for you. Perhaps instead of struggling to clear your mind and keep "trying" to meditate, you will actually be able to clear your mind and open to the wholeness that you seek. Perhaps your connection will be so strong that you will not need to struggle to find the time to keep "trying" to meditate and you actually will meditate.
The goal of meditation is to allow your mind to be still. You are not looking for anything....there is no voice to be heard, colors to be seen, vision to be felt...if these things happen, so be it, but if you "try" to get to any of these things more thoughts may come in order to distract you.
Meditation gives you a brief reprieve from engaging with your thoughts so that you can come out revitalized and ready to handle your thoughts in a productive way. That is the goal. Give yourself a break so you can tackle those thoughts when you are ready. Your ability to stay clear will become easier with practice and the stronger your connection with your own truth will be, this peace and connection will last even longer between meditations. It's a beautiful benefit - the deeper the meditation perhaps the less frequent you will need to do it. How efficient is that?
Maria Humphreys is a meditation expert, personal trainer, mom and wife.