When people learn that I teach meditation, the phrase I hear most is, “Oh, I’m terrible at meditating.” It’s as if they are getting cut from a team that doesn’t exist. There are no gold medal opportunities for meditation at the Olympics. Judging is the antithesis of getting your “om” on.
Learn this, grasshopper
You’re doing it wrong. Not.
There’s only one way to meditate, said the false prophet of meditation. In actuality, there are a plethora of ways to zoom into yourself:
- Watch your breath. In and out. Tried and true.
- Listen to music and use visualization.
- Stare at a candle and imagine thoughts burning.
- Observe your thoughts and then observe the observer.
- Count to 100, backward.
- Eat Taco Bell and smoke weed (not preferred, but I’m not judging).
“The thing about meditation is you become more and more you.” — David Lynch
The key here is this: you do you, boo. If you feel centered and grounded, or if you think your vibrational energy is rising, you’re doing it right. Or, if you feel nothing, you’re still doing it right. Remember: it’s called a practice.
You can’t stop thoughts
Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! No matter how hard you try, you will never be able to stop your thoughts. The more you try, the more will come. This logic is why so many people think they suck at meditating.
“Meditation is not about stopping thoughts, but recognizing that we are more than our thoughts and our feelings.” — Arianna Huffington
Here are three ideas to ponder:
- Thoughts are like clouds in the sky. To meditate, watch them as they float across. If you start to follow one cloud, gently bring your attention back to merely gazing.
- You are in a river of thought. Instead of washing away with the river, stand in the middle of it, and observe.
- Traffic is cruising past you. Don’t try to hop onto the cars traveling through, but watch and notice.
Observe without judgment
You are not your thoughts. They don’t define you. When you believe a thought, it turns into an emotion. Emotions are genuine. Your body holds onto these feelings. That’s why we let the thoughts go.
Realizing that what crosses your mind isn’t real, you come into a place of acceptance. It’s just a thought. If you feel it overpowering you, identifying you, say within yourself, “it’s only a thought.”
The biggest lie of meditation is this: meditation is stopping your brain from thinking. You can’t stop it, but you can indeed become better at watching it.
Ryan DeJonghe is the owner of YourEnergyHealers.Org, an online collaborative of energy and Reiki healers offering services over video. Ryan is also the author of Energy Healing 101, releasing January 2021.