Empty your mind...
As most of can appreciate that's not quite possible, nor would it be desirable.
A lot of us though think that is what the aim or goal of meditation is - to empty our minds.
And that can also be one of the reasons so many of us don't try to develop a meditation practice or why we give up too easily on the meditation-front.
But if we embrace the idea of just simply bringing some quiet, a little calm into the busy-body 'Monkey Mind'; if we accept that it's not possible or even beneficial to 'empty the mind', well then, it takes the pressure off us.
It might even allow us to feel like it's possible for yes, even us to meditate, with our wandering thoughts, the interruptions of that infernal To-Do List-er in us & also allow acceptance for the little bodily signals & messages that come our way too - "shift your foot", "my shoulders are tired", "I want to sleep"... 😉
What can also help with either beginning or helping deepen a meditation practice is some outside help. I am not usually a big fan of using technology to help unplug - a bit of an oxymoronic situation really BUT! Some apps are worth checking out as they can actually really help.
I've tried plenty of them over the past 10+ years & had sort of gone off apps in general (like how many do we ALL have on our smartphones versus the actual use of any/many of them?!). So, due to that, I only just recently stumbled onto one that I now can't quite believe I hadn't heard of before. It's rated as the top free meditation app on the Android & iOS stores.
It's called Insight Timer. I'm only about a week into using it & am just revelling in its options & ease of use (I am not on commission by the way!). You can choose from a whole variety of styles of meditation, just use the timer function for your own meditation (with different sound options) & also listen to a whole library of Guided Meditations too.
I so far am only exploring the free version & its many options. Right now, I doubt I will need or want to upgrade to a paid version for a loooong time.
Say you struggle with dropping off to sleep? You could listen to one of the Yoga Nidra tracks to help with that.
Or if you're going through or recovering from illness or injury, try listening to the beautiful slow "Radiant Healing Mediation" by Tracee Stanley.
Dealing with heartache? Give "R.A.I.N. Meditation on Working Through Difficult Emotion" a listen. If nothing else, it will help shift some of the negative mental-loop-tape activity & maybe even help bring a little breathing space between the feelings & help us carry on.
There are talks & music & a whole host of teachers that you can choose from - really, there will hopefully be something for just about everyone. I listened to a beautiful 17 minute Tara Brach Metta (aka Loving-Kindness or Compassion) Meditation a few evenings ago before bedtime & slept like the proverbial baby. Do check out her work if you haven't already, she's a psychologist & Buddhist whose work has helped so many.
I'd love to hear from anyone who is already an established Insight Timer user - especially any favourite or recommended tracks/teachers - all great info to share. And let me know if you try it!
And see you soon on your Yoga mat I hope - remember this week is Week 1 of the new 6-Week Courses (May/June) - don't fret if you haven't yet signed up (no stressing about Yoga!), just hop online & sign up OR send me an e-mail or text.
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