The first thing you will notice when you sit still and meditate is how busy your mind is. It seems as if there is endless babble or dialogue going on, with one drama after another – ranging from making shopping lists to recalling past conversations to deciding what to wear at a meeting next week, etc. The mind seems much noisier then you have ever known it, and it seems impossible to focus on anything.
However, the truth is that the mind is always this busy and distracted; it is simply that you are normally not quite enough to notice. Your usual state of externalization, where you are pulled in one direction after another, obscures the ongoing dialogue inside you. Therefore, when you finally pay attention, the noise can seem deafening.
It may be a reassuring thing to know that we are all like this. You are not alone! Although true meditation occurs in the space between thoughts — in the moments when the mind rests – those moments may be rare and short-lived. Many of us spend our thirty minutes a day practicing how to meditate – slowly learning how to become quieter, how to let thoughts go. We discover that the breath or the object of the practice can act as an anchor that brings the mind to a state of calm.
It is normal to be thinking while you are practicing. Someone once estimated that you can have 2,300 thoughts per half hour — all the time while trying not to think! However, if you persevere, what you will notice is that your thoughts become quieter and less dominating. There are more spaces, more moments of stillness between them. In those moments, you know throughout your being why you are doing this. It makes you feel as though you have come home.
What is important is that you do not make any judgments about yourself for thinking; do not make yourself wrong or hopeless for being unable to follow instructions, that you will never become quiet, so you may as well give up now. Judging yourself in this way is actually just another distraction. Anyway, if you are going to judge yourself, you may as well judge everyone, for we all do the same.
Remember, you are practicing meditation; you are not yet a master of it. Just sitting still for half an hour is a miracle in itself, so enjoy the time. You are training your body to be still, and the more you focus on the practice, so your mind will also become trained.
During your meditation, you can release thinking patterns by labeling them as thinking, or by visualizing them as birds in the sky of your mind, and letting them fly away. Try not to judge yourself to harshly – be patient and take your time. Learn to, making friends with the act of meditating, instagram bio and discover how it can set you free too.