By OM Matters Founder, Tambra Wayne
To be honest, it has been a challenge for me to maintain a daily mediation practice. Why am I resisting? I know that meditating has so many amazing benefits to my mind and body---there is an abundance of scientific proof supporting it. I even have an incredible teacher who gently encourages me to stick to it. She introduces me to several different methods to try, hoping one will stick. I experiment with each of her recommendations and am excited about them for a few days. Then I get caught up in life and forget to practice. Days go by without meditating. Until my next session with my teacher reminds me---shoot, I totally forgot to mediate this week! This cycle continued until….
The meditation practice that works for me
She introduced me to a new method called “put down the mind.” I’m really enjoying this new method AND I’m practicing it every day (almost). It is an effective meditation designed to de-clutter the mind, which is why I think it resonates with me---I love clean, clutter-free spaces in my home, office, car, gardening area. In fact, I am constantly purging things from my home, so the thought of “cleaning” my mind is just an extension of how I'm wired.
Here’s how you do it
- Sit in a space that is clean and clear of clutter---goes with the theme! (It is more comfortable for me to sit on a chair as my feet fall asleep if I sit crossed-legged for long periods. I place my bare feet on the ground so I can feel the earth, sit up straight and close my eyes.)
- Set your timer for 15 minutes to start. You can work your way up to 30-45 minutes.
- Focus on your breath, breathing in and out of your nose.
- As thoughts arise, place them into one of two categories, thoughts of: a) planning or b) remembering. That is generally what our thoughts are doing. Once you have labeled the thought, let it go and return your focus to your breath. Keep repeating this throughout your meditation.
The benefits of this style of meditating
For me, categorizing my thoughts gives my mind something to do while I’m meditating. By giving my mind a job (especially a job I enjoy such as cleaning) it keeps me focused on a specific task and curbs my thoughts from wandering. This, in turn, calms me. One other bonus is that as I de-clutter my mind from basic thoughts of planning or remembering, it seems to open a gate that allows creative ideas to flow through. Some of my best ideas have come out of these meditations.
Give it a try!