Have you ever put pressure on yourself to relax? Did it work? What comes to mind when you think of meditation? Examine this for a moment, your answer is important. When most people think of meditation they imagine sitting in lotus position, with their back straight, not moving a muscle, and ideally feeling very peaceful inside. That may work for you, but for others there is a great deal of pressure inside to “do it right.” Their mediation time is far from relaxing! If you are someone who has a hard time meditating and you spend more of your meditation time trying to feel peaceful inside than really feeling peaceful, one of the most helpful things you can do is to simplify your meditation and take all pressure off to feel peaceful in the first place.
“Meditation is not a way of making your
mind quiet. It’s a way of entering into
the quiet that’s already there buried
under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.”
- Deepak Chopra, MD
If you are putting pressure on yourself to feel peaceful, that will never help. It’s going into it with an added layer of “struggle” that is unnecessary.
“I must be peaceful in order to meditate.” Is that really true? Does that thought help you relax and surrender?
Maybe it does. But chances are it does not. Pressure and struggle will not change worrisome thoughts to peaceful thoughts.
“Hatred of war will not bring peace. Only love of peace will bring about those conditions.” ~Seth/Jane Roberts
If you find yourself in a struggle and putting pressure on yourself to have a “peaceful meditation,” what is the way out? Let’s look at a few simple viewpoint shifts that can unravel you from this tight knot and take the pressure off.
There is no “wrong way” to meditate
Consider that statement. Say it to yourself now: There is no wrong way to meditate. Doesn’t it feel liberating?!
I realize this view may go against what you have learned and go against many spiritual paths and teachings. But just for now try it on for size…
There is no wrong way to meditate…. Ahhh… Isn’t that a relaxing thought?
Take a deep breath and say it again….
“Just stop for a minute and you’ll realize you’re happy just being. I think it’s the pursuit that screws up happiness. If we drop the pursuit, it’s right here.” ~ James Hillman
If you still feel you are meditating wrong, then embracing and changing that feeling is the place to start. Embracing the feeling of judgment can become your meditation practice. Turn “wrongness” into “rightness.” Don’t punish yourself for not being a good meditator!
Let yourself fail as meditator! If you sit down to meditate and your mind goes into overdrive about the kids, the bills, the future, etc… those thoughts can be part of the practice. Don’t fight them.
Breathe into them….
Take the pressure off. In other words, do not try to change what you are experiencing. During a meditation, if you are worried , then accept that that is how you feel right now and gently stay with that feeling. Don’t give power to it by fighting it. Just give space to it. Continue to breathe with it. Space and gentleness are the keys to joy.
This life force is you. You are the mystery.
You are the journey. You are exquisite.
You are here.
Now, it’s your time.
Simple Meditation Techniques Can be Used Everywhere
Wherever you are during the day, just take 30 seconds to get comfortable or take a deep breath. These can be called “mini meditations.” Realize, nothing “has to” change on the inside to meditate. If you are uncomfortable or worried then let those feelings flow. Take the breaks off. Remove all judgment. Trying to control worry is futile. Instead, be at peace with it. Be at peace with your uncomfortableness.
Consider this : Deep meditation always transcends ideas of right and wrong. This may sound strange, but just as there is no way to do meditation wrong, there is also no way to do meditation perfectly right! This means that deep and real meditation is about the integration of apparent opposites.
It is about moving beyond ideas of right and wrong into a field of Presence. When right integrates with wrong, they cancel each other out. They blend and they merge, just like the yin yang symbol. Who you are, your truest nature lies in the middle. The middle is where the deepest meditation comes from.
An important way to further take the pressure off around getting results, is through practicing walking meditation in daily life. Walking meditation helps integrate “motion” and “stillness.” In walking meditation, your practice is to be still on the inside, while moving on the outside.
Try this next time you are out: Walk down the street and let the busyness pass through you. Imagine you are transparent to all commotion and noise. This practice is a sacred integration that fosters peace.
An Outdoor Meditation with Doreen Virtue
Let Everything Be Your Meditation
Once you get used to doing walking meditations and feeling transparent, it starts to become clear that anything can be a meditation: Doing dishes, walking the dog, folding laundry, and so on. Any activity can be a meditation if you let it. And when anything is a meditation, the pressure to “do it right” is lifted.
“There is no feeling in you that is not transparent to Universal Love. All feelings/thoughts are held in love. Love is Light. If you say: “But this uncomfortable feeling won’t let light in!” it will appear to be real. But this is a fractional experience of reality. It is one slice, not the whole. There IS light in the dark. Light is in all.” ~Michael Alperstein
There is no reason to separate meditation from daily living. There is great power and joy in joining the two together.
Life is the Ultimate Meditation Method
All meditation starts now. Relax into whatever you are feeling now. Bring relaxing to your tension. Your meditation has already begun.
You don’t have to look for the perfect meditation in lotus position. It is always right here and now. Do not look for how to meditate correctly, instead let whatever arises BE your meditation. You are whole and complete now, uncomfortable feelings and all. Let your approach to meditation be a reflection of that wholeness and the pressure will come off. You’ll naturally become more relaxed.
Explore these other articles and resources: Ramana Maharshi Meditation and Meditation DVD’s for Beginners
This beautiful facebook page often has simple meditations too: Sacred Journey