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How to meditate...even with those pesky thoughts!

Sunday 9th January 2022

We've all been there.

We close our eyes for a few minutes to try and still the mind only to find ourselves being bombarded with every thought under the sun from wondering what to have for tea to something you said to someone a decade ago that still makes you cringe.

How can you meditate with so much mental noise rampaging in the background?

It seems the harder you try to block it out, the worse it gets. When we resist our thoughts, we actually make them stronger and louder! It's a real catch 22.

The trick is to accept whatever arises in the moment without judegment. Just observe your thoughts. A good way is to pretend you are watching a film at the cinema.

You are simply the observer and know that your thoughts only have power if you react to them.

If you simply watch them come and go without judgement, you will begin to experience something else which is the dimension of being.

The goal of meditation is not to stop your thoughts from coming in but to deeply accept whatever arises in the present moment. This is the key to meditation. Learning to truly accept what is will enable you to access the present moment with more ease.

Thoughts can be annoying, intrusive, worrying and stressful - but only if we react to them.

When we observe our thoughts rather than react, we are consciously choosing what we invite into our inner space. We act from a place of empowerment rather than feeling as though we have little choice as to how we feel in reaction to our thoughts.

Being aware of the present moment is what it's all about. When we are aware of this moment, we connect with the essence of who we truly are.

A great way to anchor yourself in the present moment is to bring attention to your breathing. Simply breathing in and breathing out slowly has the effect of stimulating the vagus nerve and activates the parasympathetic nervous system which helps to reduce stress, tension and anxiety.

Any form of physical exercise is also brilliant for bringing our attention back into the body. Yoga is my go to activity when I feel I need to reduce and release anxiety from my body. From my experience, it helps to release anxiety and trauma on all levels and it helps to ground me again in a way that that isn't too strenuous and demanding on my body and energy levels. Obviously, it may not work for everyone in this way but I have experienced some great benefits from yoga practice.

The key thing to remember is not to fight your thoughts. The harder you try to resist, the stronger they will become.

Acceptance of what is opens the door to transformation and personal growth as we are no longer identifying with form. What we regard as 'form' are thoughts, feelings, emotions, conditioned beliefs and views that we have allowed to filtrate and colour our being without our awareness. As soon as we become present, we open the door to who we truly are which is beyond our basic perceptions.

Meditation is the journey to self-actualisation and that is our true home.

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©️ Christina McDonald 2022