The art of meditation is opening ones heart. It’s all about the attitude we meditate with. Meditation is not “blanking the mind”, or moving into a state of emptiness, nothingness, or running away from the world. True meditation is an evolving process of listening and concentration, with the goal of experiencing ones deepest nature. The inner reality of every man has been called “the kingdom of Heaven.” Inner Joy is not something we create. It is something we reconnect with at our center. It is never far away.
Do your best to enter your practice with a positive attitude. If you are not feeling grateful or joyful,then try to bring an openness to something better that may come unexpectedly in your practice. Do not create an expectation, but still be open-minded as well as enthusiastic as much as you can. When this is a stretch then think of nature, the sky, or anything that makes you smile even a little bit. Use that as your springboard into your meditation. And, when even this is more than you have to work with, then just bring who you are the way your are right now and know that you are doing your very best and God/Nature/the Universe somehow knows and is rooting for you.
Take charge of your mind. Your mind is going to play all kinds of tricks on you to divert your attention away from your technique. If the mind must think (yours is not the only one!) choose thoughts, or images, that are uplifting to you and then go back to your technique. If you believe in God then try to feel God is your breath or breathing through you. If you are an atheist, then feel the power and beauty of nature has become your breath. Your breath is the sky and the light in the sky. Your breath feels wonderful and brings peace and joy and light into your heart.
Be persistent without being negative or reactive. You will notice at some point that the more you relax, and stay focused on your technique the less your body will breathe. Enjoy the peace you feel. If you wander off into thoughts, your breath will become deeper again to let you know. When that happens, just come back to the techniques and keep having fun.
Appreciate the ego’s role in all of this. The ego is an imposter. It is a tiny part of who you are and it’s very afraid of losing control over your life. Meditation is a scary thing to your ego! Our ego has lots of experience and trickery to keep us under its control. Do not be fooled. Are you a perfect meditator? Are you a lame one? Do you feel insecure about your practice, or if it’s even worthwhile to continue? No. It is your ego who experiences these things. Ignore it. Learn to work around it. Don’t give up. When you break through even a little bit of your own mind, you will see how limiting the ego is and you’ll know it’s an imposter.
Every meditation is new. The art of meditation is to keep showing up and approaching your practice with enthusiasm. Think of your daily practice as a joyful experiment and dive into it like an infinite ocean of really great possibilities. Beneath the waves of personality, and the shallow currents of thought, hidden in the silent depths of your soul are the eternal pearls of love, peace, wisdom, and joy. But, you can’t find these without breaking through some layers. So, be patient, persistent, and open-minded. Ask for help when you need it.
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How to Meditate Deeply and Create a Solid Daily Practice