Meditation Articles Series


Be Gentle On Yourself

19 Dec 2008

Approach your meditation practice gently in all ways. There is a tendency in us humans that if we’re not doing something ‘right’ we’ll beat ourselves up about it. Remember there is no absolute right, or wrong way to meditate. There are many techniques with guidelines, but because meditation is an evolving process it will become your personal journey, which is totally unique, and correct for you.

Be Gentle with Your Posture

Take up a posture that is comfortable for you. If you can sit cross-legged fine – if that’s not part of your flexibility, or inclination, choose another way to sit during meditation. However you sit be really, really comfortable. Even try lying down sometimes and see what that’s like for you.

Be Gentle with Your Mind

Then there’s the mind. Yes, it will wander off again, and again. Minds have a habit of doing that! Always accept and allow whatever the mind is doing. All sorts of thoughts will arise including angry thoughts, and sexual thoughts. And there’s no need to rush off for absolution from a priest, minister, or rabbi for those thoughts. They are part of being human. Accept and allow whatever thoughts or emotions arise. Witness them, observe them, breathe into them, and gently bring yourself back to your one pointed focus, whether it’s the breath, or something else. Don’t run away; stay as present as you can. Some days your mind will be busy, chaotic, frantic, and all over the place. It’s okay. Next sitting it will be different again, so allow whatever arises to arise without condemnation, guilt or shame.

Approach Meditation without Expectations

Meditation is an evolving process. How you begin meditation on day one will be quite different on day seven, day fourteen, and day three hundred and sixty five. If you expect an outcome from meditation you could be disappointed. Expectation always has an element of fear with it, that you might not get what you want.

Rituals and Props

There are a lot of rituals around different meditation groups and practices. They can be enhancing, but they are absolutely not necessary for meditation. If lighting a candle, or wearing a particular garment, for example, creates an ambience that you enjoy, then go ahead. However, never feel that you are lacking in some way without certain rituals and props that are often traditionally associated with meditation.

Let Go of Perfectionism

And lastly let go trying to be a perfect meditator. There’s no such thing. Trying to be perfect means trying to discipline yourself. When you do that you will make your meditation practice difficult, and probably give up altogether. Never, ever make yourself wrong, try to attain some ideal image, or condemn any parts of yourself. Be loving and tender with yourself in your meditations, and be loving and tender with yourself in every aspect of your life.



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