Meditation: How to Sit Still

What could be easier than meditating? All that’s required is to sit, close your eyes, and do nothing. Hang on a moment though — somehow, meditation is more difficult than you expected it to be. Sitting still and not thinking takes a tremendous amount of effort. How can meditating be so difficult? Birds know how to sit still, and even insects can linger on plants, seemingly doing nothing for extended amounts of time. Why can’t you do the same?

You’re used to being busy
You’re not used to doing nothing. You’re usually busy rushing about. Even when you think you aren’t busy, your mind is like several trains running down a network of tracks. You have to orchestrate your thoughts to stop them colliding, switching skillfully from one to another, which isn’t restful.

Being busy is a difficult habit to give up. You probably don’t know how to let go, except perhaps on occasions like holidays. Your everyday life is full of tasks, and you have multitudes of thoughts. When you meditate well, you stop thinking. Until then, you aren’t meditating on a deep level. However, there is a way to detach from your thoughts and release them.

Those thoughts aren’t mine…
Whose thoughts are running through your head? Of course, you think they are yours. But for a moment, entertain the idea that they aren’t. If you identify with your thoughts, imagining they belong to you, you are attached to them. However, when meditating, you want to detach from thoughts. Only when you let go of inner chatter can you find the peace that’s been sharing the space in your mind all along. Usually, it’s only available in glimpses because there’s too much going on. Continual self-talk drones over your serenity like a party in full swing.

Detach from your thoughts by imagining they don’t belong to you. Just like people passing in the street, or clouds in the sky aren’t yours, the thoughts in your head don’t have to be either. They only belong to you if you claim them by focusing on them. Let them go on their merry way.

Focus on the space
Rather than focusing on your thoughts, which makes them grow, pay attention to the space that’s left behind when you let them go. You’ll know when you find it; it’s the same as the experience of mentally moving into the gap between breaths where nothing happens. Once you’ve found the space, fixate on it; allow the weight of relaxation that occurs at that time to take you down to a deeper level where peace resides.

Meditation, although one of the easiest pursuits in the world, can also be one of the hardest. Meditating, letting go of thoughts, takes practice. You’ve practiced being busy all your life, so it’s not surprising that doing the opposite might feel abnormal. Nonetheless, the benefits you can reap from meditation are profound, mind-expanding, and well worth the effort it takes to discover them.

About bridget

bridget webber

Bridget Webber’s background rests in mental health, counselling, hypnotherapy, NLP and art. She brings knowledge from her experiences into her writing and specializes in emotional wellness and the creation of, rather than search for, joy. You can catch up with her insights and musings on Twitter.

Twitter: @InsightManager

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