So what is a good meditator? The one who meditates. – Allan Lokos
I have been meditating intermittently for a while now, maybe 4 years.
I have started and stopped several times. Once I went for 8 months, meditating every day in the morning, in my car before work. I put on a CD with some music on it, I would drive up to the loneliest spot in the parking lot at my office, switch off the car, sit cross-legged on the seat, close my eyes, and meditate.
It was a 15 minute CD, and as soon as it ended, I knew it was time to go into work. I timed it perfectly. Some days, it was too cold to switch the car off, so I left it on for the heater. But most days, I could switch everything off, and have the music be the only background noise. The parking lot was really quiet at this time. I was usually the only one around when I first started my meditation.
When I finished, there would be a couple of empty cars around me, their owners long gone off to work. Interestingly enough, I never heard the cars come in, and the car doors being slammed. That’s how deep I used to get into my meditation session.
I used to wonder what they thought of me.
Sitting in a lonely parking lot, cross-legged, eyes closed, hands on knees, with thumbs and forefinger touching.
A serene, blissful look on my face.
I have tried several different ways of meditation since then.
It’s interesting how things have progressed since the first time I tried meditating. I had such a hard time sitting in the cross-legged position for more than 5 minutes. My foot would start tingling from lack of oxygen as my hips were so tight. Years of yoga has loosened up my hips so much so that I can sit for longer without feeling any tingling or pain. In addition, I could never sit upright without some kind of back support. I needed back support. Again, through years of yoga, back and core strengthening exercises, I’m now at a point where I can sit without back support for a little bit of time (maybe 30-45 minutes).
I used to think to myself – I need a proper meditation cushion or mat to meditate on. Until I get a proper mat, I will never be a good meditator. All excuses. Nothing will help the meditation session, as much as, meditating itself.
I also have tried various ways of meditating as I said – breath meditation, sitting up in bed, lying down in bed, before going to bed, after waking up, counting meditation, body scan meditation, and so on.
I used to feel bad because I am not a perfect practitioner.
The way of meditation that works best for me is actually supposedly the worst way to do it. I have found that the best way for me to meditate consistently is to make it as automatic and easy as possible. And that for me, is doing it as soon as I wake up, lying in bed, still in the alpha dream state.
Instead of feeling bad, that I am not ‘doing it properly’ – which would be sitting up in a corner somewhere with a statue of Buddha, incense, and candles in front of me, I just accept it. This is my way of meditating and so I’m going to do it this way.
Thus, every morning, the alarm rings. I turn over, switch it off, turn on my meditation music (it changes from time to time – I like Binaural Om meditation music the best for getting into the alpha meditative state), lie in savasana (corpse) position on my bed, with the blankets all over me, close my eyes, and in a few seconds, I’m there.
As I said in the title, nothing else has mattered for me.
- The way I meditate doesn’t matter. The style doesn’t matter.
- The position doesn’t matter. The clothes I wear don’t matter.
- My diet doesn’t matter. My environment doesn’t matter.
Seriously, nothing else matters, except doing it consistently. You could meditate for only 3 minutes per day, but if you do it every day consistently at the same-ish time, for months, years, decades – you will find it will change your life.
Consistency as in every other area of life that matters is the only thing that matters.
We might think getting a meditation cushion will change our practice. Or buying some meditation CDs. Or maybe if we did some Feng Shui to our meditation space.
All of the these are just excuses – to keep you from the practice itself. Make it a sloppy practice. Wear night clothes. Do it in bed. Lying down. Or sitting on the couch. Or in a car in a parking lot wearing a winter jacket and winter boots. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter.
Consistency matters. The practice matters.
Thinking about it or talking about it or reading about it or writing about it – all of this is useless. Doing it consistently, day after day, night after night, is the only thing that matters in meditation.
So start now. Today. Sit for 3 minutes. No longer. Come back to the breath every time you feel your attention wandering to the past or the future. Breathe in. Breathe out. Meditate. Start.
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