One of the biggest myths about meditation is that you need to get rid of your thoughts. Let me do an experiment with you. I give you the next 30 seconds to close your eyes and think of a white polar bear…….
OK, you can open your eyes …….
Now this time I want you to close your eyes again and think of anything you want as long as it’s not the white polar bear. You are free to think of anything but the polar bear. OK go………
So, did you think about the polar bear at least once or maybe more times? If you are like me and many others who have done this experiment your answer would be yes. The point is our mind and thoughts behave in a way that the more you try to control it, the difficult it gets. The mind by its very nature is designed to think and therefore will continue to think. You have to let it free and just observe.
Have you noticed that you can continue to perform your daily tasks while the mind is busy thinking? This is because when you are thinking only 1% of the mind is potentially involved in this thinking process. And so, if you are sitting quietly doing nothing else, even when there are thoughts in your mind, about 99% of your mind is silent. It's because this 1% of your brain creates the noise and the remaining 99% gets drawn to it. Hopefully, when you get this concept in your mind you will be able to take your focus off from that 1% without resisting and just observing.
One of the other main reasons why people do not meditate is that they are too busy. You need to realize that our brains are designed to assist us in our survival and would naturally resist anytime you want to try something new. The reality is as meditation increases our body and mind performance we become more productive and hence create more time.
Gandhi was once found quoting that, “today I need to meditate for two hours instead of one as I need to get a lot more done.” So, please stop telling yourself that you do not have 10 minutes in a 24 hour day for meditation. All it takes is a daily ritual of 10 minutes to notice the profound impact on your body and mind. Once you start noticing these changes you can increase the time you meditate to 20 minutes or half an hour. I meditate only 20 minutes every day. 10 minutes in the morning soon after I wake up and 10 minutes before I go to bed.
Finally, there are some people who start meditating and then give up after few days thinking that it's not for them. They complain that they are not getting results or things are getting worse. Now, the way meditation works is that it starts by making you more aware, in the moment. This means that you will have increased focus, more creativity, and better problem-solving skills. But it also means that as you become aware you start noticing problems quickly. And all you need to do is fix them if you can and let them be if you can’t. Don’t give it too much attention.
It's better if you are aware of the problem, cause when your mind is too busy, you do not live in the moment and hence do not notice any problems until they become major. Also, it is important to understand that meditation does not change your life; it changes your mind, body, and spirit. As a result, the way you approach life changes, and hence your life changes. Therefore, you cannot expect immediate results. You will notice some immediate stress relief and better sleep, but performance-related results will start showing up after a while, maybe in one to three months.
This blog is posted by Anurag Rai. Anurag is the Founder of Superhuman In You and Superhuman University. He is also the founder of multiple other businesses and a certified NLP & meditation practitioner.