When I started practicing meditation I had the common misconception shared with the majority of the population that meditation is incredibly hard. In fact, after years of practice I have found it is quite the opposite. With the right education, strategies, technologies and most importantly a consistent practice it is actually incredibly easy. It is the definition of easy because the entire objective is to not push against anything or try to do anything but to let go and allow things to happen to you. To allow experiences, feelings, inspiration and joy.
There are many technologies to assist us in reaching a meditative state (also known as a theta brainwave state) such as bi-neural beats, isochronic tones and floating could also be considered a technology as well. I started meditating over a decade ago… committing 20 minutes per day sitting in a chair in silence listening to bi-neural beats. I wasn’t trying to do anything or even focus on my breath. I just focused on taking 20 minutes per day to myself and allowing whatever to happen to happen. Two weeks later I was hooked. See more about my initial exploration into meditation and the beginnings of clear float spa here.
So you don’t have to tackle meditation alone, in fact there is a whole community of floaters with tips and tricks of their own willing to share experiences and advice along your journey.
One of the key’s to meditation is to get yourself out of your brain and into your heart… or a place of feeling. It is about moving from a thinking state to a state of awareness. The goal is not to stop thinking altogether as this is certainly a daunting goal but to allow your thoughts to move through you without feeling any resistance. The outcome will be that you have moments of no thought but that shouldn’t be the goal.
A few tips to get you started:
The biggest part of meditation is consistency. If you are going to try meditation you must dedicate a portion of time that works for you. Even if it is once a week for 20 minutes you have to make it a part of your routine and stick to it. Decide on a consistent schedule that works with your lifestyle and make it happen.
I often offer floaters one easy process which begins with just asking yourself some simple questions such as “is there feeling in my toes? Is there feeling in my ankles? Is there feeling in my knees?” and work your way up your body towards the crown of your head. This will bring you into an aware state or feeling state.
Next run through a list of things that you are grateful for and run that list until you run out of reasons to be grateful (my friends, my family, my lungs, the internet, strangers, my job, Netflix, my community, my health, etc). This list can actually be quite fun and getting creative with how you can be grateful is the best part. This will bring you into a state of gratitude or a state of allowing.
To continue this state of allowing you can now shift your focus to your breath and take long comfortable breaths in and out. Each out breath should allow your body to release all tension while each in breath you think of all the reasons you are grateful to be alive.
Once in a state of gratitude I think of the happiest moment of my life, or as I like to call it my Peter pan happy thought. This usually brings an intense amount of joy (often leading to joyful tears) and I focus heavily on that joy and just breathe in and out. Once in this open receptive state I find it very easy to let thoughts go with no resistance or extra effort. Thoughts will always come and go and the key while meditating is to recognise that it is just a thought and let it go.
These simple tips may not work for everyone but certainly work for me and a few others I have shared them with. The most important thing when picking up anything new is consistency. Make time for your practice whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly be sure to commit yourself to that time and make it happen no matter what.
I’m happy to share many other tips and experiences if you run into me in the post float zen room.