The truth is, we overthink this meditation thing. People come to me to learn to meditate with a lot of self-judgement about their "monkey mind" or their inability to sit in complete silence and not think.
That's not what meditation is, really, it's not.
Meditation is about training your brain to focus, then refocus when your mind wanders off to think about something.
It is perfectly natural for the mind to wander many times during your meditation practice and that's OK.
You can use whatever metaphors that work for you to bring your mind back to focus.
Let's say, for example, that you are using your breath as the focal point.
Be curious about what your breath is like. Where do you feel it? In your nose< the back of your throat? What does your body feel like when you're breathing? Does your belly expand and contract? Does your chest rise and fall?
How does that space in between breathing in and out feel? Did you notice the pause between in and out?
If your mind wanders off to what's for dinner, simply notice the thought, name it if you like "thinking", and bring your attention back to the breath and that curiosity again.
Our curiosity helps us keep interested and stay focused for longer.
Eventually you can develop this practice into a habit that becomes familiar and the length of time you maintain your focus gets longer. The interrupting thoughts less frequent.
Some people have a lot of difficulty with focusing on the breath. They may begin to control the breath in some ay rather than just watching it.
In that case I suggest they switch to focusing on something else.
Some easy focal objects can be:
- The feel of your feet on the floor
- Your seat on the floor or chair
- The sound of a waterfall, tonal music or even someone nearby breathing
- What you can see, a flower, a candle light, texture of something near you that you can enjoy
Find what works for you and experiment. Use your curiosity to help you find a focal point and then come back to it again and again.
If you're interested in learning more, send me an email and let's talk, I'd be happy to help you find the best way for you to realize the amazing benefits of a regular meditation practice.