My mother-in-law was game to try a short meditation this morning for the first time in her life. Rather than seem over eager and bombard her with “expert” advice, I simply handed her my iPod and told her to put on headphones, hit play, and close eyes.
While I’d love for this to be a smashing success story, her meditation experience ended up being the first step of a potentially rewarding journey. Before I start sounding like Chris Harrison on “The Bachelor” talking about rewarding journeys, let me break down a few parts of her first meditation experience. This is for those of you that might have tried a meditation technique and not gotten the “Aha” moment you were seeking.
Meditation techniques are like plates of spaghetti. There are a ton of Italian restaurants in pretty much every town in the USA. You might have a watery bowl of limp, overcooked noodles and a runny sauce of stale Ragu. Or you might be at Mia Francesca’s, and have your spaghetti served with a succulent Pomodoro sauce and 4 tasty meatballs (gluten-free pasta of course). Maybe your spaghetti was with pesto sauce, and you loved it, until the end of your night came and you tried to make a move on your date while breathing nasty garlic monster breath in her grill (hopefully you popped a tic-tac first).
The sheer variety and quality of spaghetti dishes means that there are possibly 100s of different meanings and experiences when you say “I like spaghetti”, because you can be referring to an endless array of options.
The same thing applies to meditation techniques. There are TONS of different ways to meditate. While I’d be jazzed if your first meditation experience was with my site’s free meditation techniques course, and that experience changed your life for the better, that may or may not end up being the case.
For my beloved mother-in-law, she tried the 10 Minutes Within meditation mp3. This is the first meditation mp3 download I give out with the meditation course. It is a strong mixture of meditation binaural beat and isochronic beat technologies combined with ocean surf.
The instructions are simple. Close your eyes and listen with headphones. This creates a challenge, because your mind is always trying to “do something”.
Her initial impression was that “she is just not cut out for meditation”. Further feedback was that she had a hard time settling her mind down, and it felt very intense for the first few minutes, and then she started to relax and feel mentally at peace in the last 2 minutes.
As this was her first time at meditation in her life, the fact that she could settle her mind down and feel at peace in 8 minutes is impressive! She did not feel that it was impressive. It is common to read the hype on meditation and then think that you try meditating, and feel one with the world, and if you don’t, you stink at it. That’s not true.
Meditation is a practice. You need to practice at the sensation of feeling at mental ease, it is not commonplace anymore. You need to practice at different techniques, to see what works for you.
I have over 100 different meditation techniques in my mental inventory. I’m not suggesting you need to gather that many, but if you have tried to sit and think of nothing, or chanted in a room and it didn’t work for you, that doesn’t mean you can’t meditate. You just need to find a different way to do it.
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