Muni on this:
Did you know that the human brain averages 60,000 thoughts per day? And if you think about it, there are 86,400 seconds and that roughly amounts to about 1.41 thoughts per second!
WOW. That is a lot of thought for a brain to process. No wonder my boyfriend used to call me a “scatterbrain”; I would forget things I was saying two seconds earlier. There were days where I’d get so restless that even if I go to bed early, I’d lie there for hours, awake because my mind just couldn’t seem to shut down.
Meditation = Just Being
It was like this most of my life, until I started taking up yoga late 2011 and was formally introduced to meditation. Ah, there is that word again. A word when brought up in a conversation always paints the common picture of a monk, sitting still for hours and chanting “Om”. Although there are monks that do meditation this way, it doesn’t mean that it’s the only way for people to meditate.
I’ve spent countless hours researching about how to meditate, tried out different pranayama techniques, read Deepak Chopra’s blog, bought books on daily meditation, and I even bought a mala online! But in reality, the simplest way to meditate is to just BE: be present in the moment; be aware of your surroundings; be mindful of the breath; be a watcher of your thoughts.
For me, meditation is not about not having any thoughts because thoughts are meant to roam. For me it is taking the time to de-clutter your mind, to give time for the brain to reorganize itself, and maybe to give you an opportunity to know yourself better.
We take in so much within the day, we have various sources feeding us different things, telling us what we should be doing, how we should be doing it, and unfortunately, sometimes telling us who we should be. With all this noise, it is very easy to lose sight of who we are, what we want to do, where we want to be. This is why it is very important to take time and be still. To give us the opportunity to step back, recover from all the rubbish that we’re bombarded with every day.
Integrating Being To Everyday Living
Start with giving yourself 3 minutes a day of being silent, being still, before you sleep. If your mind starts to wander, try and put your attention back to your breathing. Do not be too hard on yourself if your thoughts wander a lot. Just continue breathing until the 3 minutes is up. Practice this for 2-3 days, then on the 4th day try to extend it to 5 minutes. And maybe afterwards, extend it to 10 minutes and so on.
Be aware that when dealing with the mind, there are things that will come about, things such as anger, jealousy, worry, insecurities, and the like. These may be common thoughts to you or not but always remember that you are not your thoughts. Allow them to come up, acknowledge their existence and then let it go. As mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinn once said: “Meditation is simply about being yourself and knowing about who that is. It is about coming to realize that you are on a path whether you like it or not, namely the path that is your life.”
Want to learn more about meditation and how to start your practice? Join our Meditation & Mindfulness class with White Space in Katipunan on Feb. 16. Sign up for the class here.