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Meditation (which is a part of yoga) is the non-linear process of self-observation, mindfulness and/or the act of focusing the mind on a single object or thought. It’s a skills you learn in a yoga teacher training or at a meditation retreat.
Having personally experienced a silent ten day meditation retreat I discovered that you don’t need to be shut up in a monastery to practice mental clarity. Washing the dishes or waiting for public transit can be part of your discipline.
Every practice is different because every person is different, regardless where you live Vancouver, New York, etc. Ultimately it is training your mind into awareness. Some refer to it as the Art of Living. I like to think of it as seeing things as they are.
The brain is a muscle and it responds to formulated habits. Initially establishing a practice may seem difficult. Like working up to the heavy weights at the gym, start small and make a commitment to yourself to follow through.
Another potentially discouraging factor may come once you begin your session. You have all these thoughts and they’re interrupting your practice!
Or you get so carried away with thoughts of the past or future and you’ve abandoned stillness all together, for who knows how long! This is all par for the course. Gently bring yourself back to your task or your breath as many times as you need to. It will get easier and you are already doing yourself a world of good.
Eventually you will experience extended attention, leading to mental pilancy and the calming intensity of meditative joy. On occasion tapping into the tranquility and equanimity that exists inside each of us and your ability to reach it.
Just remember not to expect a desired outcome as each session will be different. Relax and embrace the experience. Meditation takes building up to and training to maintain. That is the practice.
You may find it easier to meditate at the beginning for the day when you’re fresh from sleep. It may also serve you better for re-centering throughout the day.
Practice breaking from distractions during the course of your week. Can you remember the last time you went without TV, social media or the news?
Committing to the present is the best thing you can do for your meditation and yourself. Relearning how to be still is totally possible and incredibly rewarding. Stay consistent, stay focused and watch the positive changes unfold around you.