Meditation seems like a simple concept…Relax and close your eyes, then PRESTO! You’re meditating!
Sorry to say, there’s a little more to it than that. Learning how to meditate deeply, consistently and efficiently takes most people many years of practice. But fortunately, there are ways to recognize if you’re beginning to get the hang of it.
The following are some of the signs that your meditation is on track. Don’t worry if you can’t hit them all…just close your eyes and relax. You’ll get better and better over time!
1. Being Still
The first and simplest way to know you’re ‘doing it right’ is to check your own body. If you’re moving around, shifting in your seat or fiddling with something in your hands, you might want to take a moment to settle those things. Some people imagine themselves as a tree or stone that simply stays where it is. For some, this can be surprisingly difficult, but always worth the effort to try.
2. Just ‘Being‘
Once you’re sitting still, it’s time to be present in yourself. Some meditation practitioners focus on breathing. Others have a chant they repeat to themselves. Still others may take a mental inventory of their body and where it is.
However you like to accomplish this, it’s important to make sure you’re not feeling tight, or pressured, but rather light and easy. But remember that even if you find you can’t settle your mind while you try to meditate, you can still be relaxed.
3. No reactions
Many people believe that meditation is about having zero thoughts. A quiet mind can be a great feeling, but it’s often not possible.
The goal with meditation is less about emptying your mind and more about your reaction to those thoughts. For good meditation, it’s important to learn that you can allow thoughts and ideas…whether positive or negative…to flow past you without letting your mind dwell on them. It’s a subtle thing, but key to good meditation practices.
4. Total awareness
A funny thing can happen during deep meditation. Even as you’re still, present and having no reaction to the thoughts that enter your mind, you might find your awareness of the world around you grows!
You might smell something you hadn’t noticed before. Or hear a sound outside that’s barely audible. Again, your goal is not to focus or internalize these things, but just register them.
5. Time flies
A great meditation session is like a vacation for your mind.
Just as a wonderful trip away can seem like it passed way too quickly, a 10 minute meditation can feel like it was just a blink of an eye. Your mission is to try not to worry about how much time has passed or how much time is left. Stay in the moment, be present and your meditation skills will improve rapidly.
I hope these suggestions help you feel more confident that you CAN meditate and it will help you feel better.
Of course, FocusCalm is also a great tool to help you know when you’re meditating well because it can actually quantify your level of relaxation.