Get Started with Meditation- Sarah Harvie
People often say they don’t have enough time to meditate or they simply are not good at it.
The beauty of meditation is you can do it anywhere and anytime. Meditating means being present to this breath and this breath only. Watching the inhale and exhale. We can all learn to do this.
You can watch your breath while walking your dog, making your bed, checking your email, or in your car at a stop light. When you start to look for opportunities to watch your breath throughout the day, the idea that you “don’t have time to meditate” or that you are “not good at it” will eventually melt away. You don’t need 30 minutes—all you need is this present breath.
When you become more conscious of your breath, you will slowly find more space in your day. For instance, instead of checking your email for the 200th time as you wait in line for coffee, try being conscious of your breath and let your body relax instead of getting a spike of cortisol from your email.
When you sit down to meditate, you may think you “aren’t doing it right” or “cannot meditate” because your mind seems busier than ever, but in reality, your mind did not actually speed up; that is just how many thoughts are racing through your head at one time. We are typically too busy to notice!
The goal is to follow one breath at a time without slowing your breathing down or speeding it up. Watch one breath. As you would train a muscle, think of your brain as a muscle in your body that you are training (possibly a really weak one!). Seductive and gripping thoughts will want to take you away. Slowly and patiently, as if your mind is a small child, bring your attention back to your present breath. You will get frustrated, but don’t give up! Always bring your attention back to your breath. The goal is not to stop your thoughts, but to see the space in between them. To see that you are more than your thoughts. Instead of being frustrated that your mind once again wandered into the past or future, be amazed that you noticed your mind wandered in the first place and you were able to bring it back! After all, there are some very interesting places your mind can wander to!
At the top of the inhale and the bottom of the exhale, there is a space, a pause, before the mind receives the signal to begin the next phase. This space is referred to as the “fertile void.” It is the space in which there is an opening to the subconscious mind. This space is where new and creative ideas can bubble up from. When we are in our conscious mind, we are only using a small percentage of our mind’s capacity. We are often listening to the same story loop over and over. By developing a curiosity about the space between the inhale and exhale, we open ourselves up to new neural pathways!
Thank you for your interest in meditation! Meditation is an important part of my life as I welcome the ability to be a better problem solver and see challenges from new angles. If you have any questions about meditation, please feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org