How often do you experience being totally in the moment, fully focused on your work, a piece of art, running, an experience that you might describe as in the zone, a moment of bliss, nirvana? Isn’t it great being in a state that works for you and is enjoyable, creative and productive? Did you know that a regular meditation practice can invite such a state to occur more often?
That’s one of the main reasons I meditate. And the other day while meditating I had an ah ha moment that motivated me anew. So I thought I would share it and hopefully motivate you too…
I realized, after so many years of meditating, that by simply by returning again and again to the practice I was doing “reps” (like when you’re exercising). Even if my mind seemed to continually chatter and wander, each return, however brief, was a like a rep, strengthening the benefits.
For example, in meditation, if breath is your focus, every time your mind wanders, your job is to return to the breath. I realized that the time between becoming conscious that you have strayed and resuming focus on the breath is like a rep. It is like you are lost in the woods and you cross a bridge called consciousness that leads back to the breath, and crossing that bridge is the rep that strengthens your ability to take charge of your thoughts and emotions (which are so often in charge of you). And when you’re in charge of your emotions, you then have the ability to choose a favorable response. That bridge or space is eloquently described by Viktor Frankl: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
If you want to try meditating, there are many teachers, free online audio and video guides, and even apps to help you start your practice and to keep it going. I use an app called Brightmind. Another popular app is Insight Timer. Use whatever works for you!
Ideally you will meditate a minimum of 10 minutes most days. You will experience benefits as you go. Noticing positive effects of your meditation practice helps encourage you to continue. You might even try setting an intention before each practice session.
Wishing you your own ah-ha moments.