If there is one belief that I would like to shake in my lifetime, it is the dominant perception that meditation is difficult.
I hear ‘I can’t meditate because’, and then comes a laundry list of reasons, which all sound rather valid and impressive, but have absolutely nothing to do with a human being’s ability to meditate.
You see the fact that you are terribly busy, have a jumpy mind, can’t sit still, and can’t imagine finding the time to fit anything else into your Piccadilly Circus mornings juggling off-spring, zoom meetings, and your personal hygiene are in fact, simply put, all of the reasons why meditation would be so very good for you.
I used to teach courtroom advocacy to trainee lawyers at leading law firms and the first thing I would get them to do on day 1 of the three-day programme would be to check at the door any negative story they held about their public speaking ability. My invitation to them was to give themselves a blank slate and to use the next 3 days to discover whether they are actually any good at public speaking. By the end of the course, they were all performing in a Mock Trial as if they had been doing it for years.
And so, when it comes to meditation too, we must remember the truthful words of Marianne Williamson:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us… Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.
So right now – I’d love to invite you to give yourself a blank slate here in respect of meditation. Why not try meditating for a few days with an open mind and see what comes. See what you discover about yourself and an ancient practice that has perhaps always held a type of allure, for the simple reason, that you know deep down that it is part of your birth-right.
Start by reminding yourself that meditation is not a destination-based activity – there is nothing to do and nowhere to go – nothing to achieve and no one to award points. Meditation does not exist in a binary – there is no moment of arrival either as a meditator or as proficient, there is simply a practice that unfolds. There is no need to join a club or sign up for a story or doctrine, just the next breath within your miraculous body to experience and explore.
To investigate meditation you only need two things: the breath and the body. You have both, so I see you came prepared. The journey within beckons you forward, yet perhaps you are yet to fully hear and accept this timeless invitation. Perhaps today is the day? Listen to your heart – it holds the answer. And like everything – hold it gently. There is a rhythm to all life, including your readiness to embrace more fully your inner world of thoughts, emotions, and sensations. Meditation offers you a map. It turns out to be the map of your own consciousness.
If the last year has led you on a journey of self-discovery and you are ready to deepen that process – remember that at a certain point, all awareness falls within. The breath begins in stillness and ends stillness. So will you.
As within, so without.
My last year has taken me on quite the journey too, during which I was inspired to create a course specifically for people who think they can’t meditate but secretly wish they could. I have called it: Zen In Ten – The Mindfulness Accelerator For People Who Need To Slow Down and it is open for enrolment today on Teachable. In less than 20 minutes per day for ten days, you will learn the basics of mindfulness meditation and by the end, you will be able to meditate solo for 10 minutes. There are 15 places available at the introductory price of £55.
The full price thereafter is £95. You can find it here: Zen In Ten
And so I leave you with a final reminder that emerges as a whisper from the soul of humanity: You Can Meditate!
By Neil Seligman
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