If you search on the internet, like YouTube, for a guided meditation, you will find thousands of different options.
Which one do you take? And why are there all these different techniques and methods?
Meditation is ‘not-doing-anything’. With the emphasis on not doing. It’s no more than being clear and relaxed present with what is in this moment. This should be the most easy thing there is right? It turns out to be very difficult to do. Where most people are able to relax physically in the place they are, it doing that for the head a whole different ballgame.
We are so in our ‘do-modus’ that it is extremely difficult to detach from that. Even if it’s only for a short amount of time. Just see how often you actually do nothing. And don’t tend to fill up every small free moment with reading, eating or cleaning something, with turning on the television or activating your smartphone. Even while waiting in line at the shop or for a red light people tend to grab for their phone.
We hardly manage to really relax. Even if we do our best to do it, our ‘head’ takes over quickly and we wander off in thoughts to the past, future or associations with what is happening in the now. That’s why meditation often seems as an impossible thing to do. Everybody that starts meditating finds that our minds habits of wandering off are very strong. Notice how quickly your attention is pulled away of what you are doing when you smartphone makes a sound or buzz.
Because it’s so hard do undo yourself of all the movements in your awareness, meditation methods are developed to help you focus your attention. They are designed to help you rest in simple and clear presence. The method helps you time after time to return to the simpleness of just being in the moment. Also guided meditations aim for this. Every time I guide a meditation I give the participants an anchor to bring their attention to so that they quicker recover from being distracted, which is inevitable.
In this way you learn to focus your attention with a small help as a starting point. You also don’t throw someone in the deep end of the pool when that person never swam before. The meditation methods help you to not drown in the stream of thoughts and other stimuli that continuously draw your attention. If you manage to keep your attention with a simple thing, then you can see if you can also stay present without a form of support. Before you reach that state it takes a lot of practice though and meditations with support are very usefull. And just as effective when you look at gaining the positive effects, because it is not so that a meditation with support is less effective as one without it. People with a lot of meditation experience and realization often ‘still’ use a meditation with support.
There are many forms of meditations where something supports you to keep you present. The most common one is the meditation on the breath, but also the use of a tone, a mantra, an object or simply a guided meditation that helps you to stay in the here and now can be useful to help you to focus your attention. All these things aim for giving your mind something to do, to point it towards so that you are distracted less easily.
Whatever form of support you use, as long as it’s simple and keeps you in the present moment, it is useful. Choose the meditation method that support you best to reach the meditation state. In the end it is very simple: during your meditation session you are either meditating or distracted. It is one or the other. The support techniques help you to be more often and longer in meditation during your meditation session. The goal is to remain as much as possible in meditation during your meditation sessions.
You definitely don’t have to try all the methods available to find the one that is best for you. Just find one that works for you and that’s it. Do you want to try the method I teach in my trainings? Click here for for a free audio of one of my guided meditations. Enjoy!
Do you want to learn quickly and effectively how to meditate? We would love to help you. Follow one of our meditation programs or follow the easy step-by-step plan in my book: Meditation, your daily mini-break (unfortunately only available in Dutch). It’s very easy and won’t take much time. Try for yourself and experience what meditation can do for you.
I hope this blog helped you get a better understanding of the what meditation is all about. Do you have a different question regarding meditation? Send it to me and who knows, it might the subject for my next blogpost!
Meditation trainer and autor of ‘Meditatie, je dagelijkse minivakantie’
More information about meditation you can find here on www.meditatie.amsterdam and our Facebook page
Do you also want to benefit from all the research and experience I gathered for many years to get to the core of meditation and translate it into contemporary, accessible and practical methods to get the best out of yourself? If you would like to work with me, apply now for one of my next activities.
Beginner or more experienced, I am happy to help you on your way towards more inner peace, balance, energy, clarity and freedom of mind, with methods that can have lifechanging effects within weeks. See you soon!
Roel Wilbers – meditation trainer and author of ‘Meditation, your daily mini holiday’