Meditation did not come easy for me in the beginning and it’s not exactly easy now. I practiced yoga for many years before even attempting to meditate. Sure, I’d sit through meditation if it was offered within a class, but I was fidgety, bored, and unable to focus. There are still times when meditation seems impossible. In fact, I struggled nearly all summer to sit with myself and I am only now getting back to my routine. I came back to it because I missed the clarity. I missed the sense of calm and I missed seeing beauty in the mundane. Most of all, I missed being comfortable in my own skin.
Meditation allows us to become clear headed. It’s easy to get lost in your own mind. Chitta Vritti is Sanskrit term for mind chatter. One of my favorite teachers likes to say, “chitta happens”. Thoughts can be messy. They come uninvited and they have staying power. Meditation isn’t about trying to rid ourselves of thoughts. Rather, when we sit to meditate we learn to observe the very act of thinking. We become skilled at noticing thoughts without attaching or reacting to them. Letting go of attachments, aversions, fears, and false identities gets us closer to the unclouded versions of ourselves.
Meditation makes us more peaceful and less reactionary. Through meditation we create inner space and clarity. With that spaciousness comes the capacity to stay calm and open regardless of the external circumstances. Gradually we develop mental equilibrium and the ability to respond rationally. We see the big picture.
If you’re a science nerd like I am there is a mountain of research supporting the transformative effects that meditation has on the brain. Some of the studies reveal truly remarkable results. Click on the link below to watch a short TED Talk on how meditation re-shapes the brain: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=ted+talk+meditation&view=detail&mid=AEA4887D605244EE6466AEA4887D605244EE6466&FORM=VIRE
It is ridiculously easy to become removed from the very experience of being in our bodies. We look for distractions to pass the time, to procrastinate, to take away pain, and to numb out. All things deserve balance and distractions can be therapeutic. Just remember, your body is an intricate machine designed to heal itself. And your brain is fully capable of becoming clear and one-pointed. Meditation is transformative. Tune in and observe the world that lies just beneath your skin. There is so much to learn from simply being here now.