I know many people struggle to meditate - and I'm terrible at the traditional form of meditation myself.
Why would you want to? Look at meditation's numerous benefits:
One of the biggest challenges is clearing your mind, and honestly, it's a tough one. Having some kind of a visualization might help. For instance, as you notice thoughts arise, picture them on a blackboard and erase them, or imagine yourself sweeping them away with a broom. You can also use other visualizations or vocalizations as focus points, such as a mantra (which can be anything from OM to an affirmation) or visualizing different colors, focusing on an image of some sort, or even focusing on your breathing and counting breaths. The trick is to find something that works for you, and gently move your focus back to it whenever you notice thoughts interrupting. Be kind and patient with yourself.
Perhaps one of the biggest blocks to meditation is the belief you are unable to meditate. It's an easy trap to fall into, and it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle. The more you tell yourself you can't meditate, the truer this becomes for you. You can meditate. There's no trick to it. Still your mind as best you can. When you notice your thoughts invading, take a deep breath and once again still your mind. Do this starting with just a few minutes at a time and work your way up. And, when you catch yourself thinking or saying, "I just can't meditate," remember that thoughts become things. When you notice this belief arising, replace it with the belief that you can, indeed, meditate.
Another type of meditation to try is guided meditation. With guided meditation, you listen to someone else's words and music and let your mind follow along. For some people, this is an incredibly powerful form of meditation. You can find all kinds of guided meditation on YouTube, and there are great smartphone apps, as well. I'm a fan of Glenn Harrold's guided meditation sessions.
Two other forms of meditation you can try: journaling and trataka. Try writing as meditation. Start with stream of consciousness writing - put pen to paper and just write. If you get "stuck," write the same word over and over until you get unstuck. Trataka involves gazing at a single point - many people use a lit candle for this. Just gaze at an object or point, and as your attention wanders, bring it gently back to the object. Try all the methods we've talked about this week and see what works for you - or mix it up and incorporate them all.
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