I was introduced to meditation when I was 12 years-old. It was way back in the 1970s and my 7th grade gym teacher was eager to teach us. She explained to us that meditation was a way for resting the mind and attaining a state of consciousness that sounded very desirable. I tried my hardest to master meditation, while laying on that rock-hard, cold cafeteria floor (back then, only the boys got to use the actual school gym) as she guided us through the process day after day. She promised us that results would be gradual, but they would happen; but it felt like nothing was happening for me! Each day, I redoubled my efforts to focus but instead, all I found myself actually doing was trying to identify what that smell was coming from the school kitchen, trying to remember the words to the latest greatest top 40 hit from the radio, worrying about my grades, and ultimately just falling asleep.
I didn’t master meditation then, but I didn’t give up. Over the following decades, I tried and tried to meditate, and sometimes I got very close. I bought many books on the subject and tried every popular method by experts, including guided, group, and solo. I thoroughly agreed with the benefits and wanted to experience them for myself. Then one day, as I tried to focus on my breath and not the other million things on my mind, as I fought to find stillness and ignore the restless leg syndrome I seemed to have triggered, I finally had a breakthrough. I accepted something very important about myself: I would never reach Zen because I suck at meditation!
It just doesn’t work for me. The more I try, the worse it gets. It is the actual process of quieting or focusing the mind that is the obstacle. The surprising thing was, when I started admitting this to my enlightened friends and clients, many of them said that they sucked at meditation too.
I considered the benefits I was looking for from meditation. When you meditate, you focus on one thing, your mind calms and you give it a break from all of the other thoughts of anxiety, reactions, planning, and everything. You are fully awake and alert, but your mind focuses internally and not on anything external around you. This allows your mind to be quiet and find peace. You become calm.
When I was studying playing a musical instrument and reading classical music, it was so difficult; it took all my concentration and all of my brain’s multi-tasking was pointed in one direction. When I would end my practice, I felt peaceful, rested, and less stressed. I realized this was my mediation.
I soon discovered other ways to quiet my mind and find the same or similar benefits to meditating. I love to read! It has to be a complex and intriguing book that completely captures my attention and pulls me into the story. And then there is writing…You are getting the idea here! I think that the secret here is you must have a passion for something that totally engrosses you. I have seen people find peace from solving riddles or crossword puzzles, and even playing video games. Intense prayer, either alone or in a group, also works. There is chanting, tapping, drumming, and even watching a movie that causes you to focus all your attention on that one thing.
You may have times when anxiety or stress is so intense that you find it impossible to focus; these are the times that relaxation and grounding techniques can help. Remember, reach out to a Keen advisor for insight and help if you are having trouble with meditation. Maybe these alternatives will help you, or you will find your unique alternatives!
About the Author:
As an Empathic Psychic, Miss Josephine uses her gifts to provide in-depth, personal, and informative readings. Her specialties include Life Questions, Spiritual, and Love and Relationships readings. She loves to help others find their true loves, life purposes, careers, and correct paths for fulfilling and successful happy lives.