The first time I sat down to focus on my breath my mind was wandering all over and I found myself chewing away at my lip and shaking my leg like I would always do before a college exam or a hockey championship where the team was depending on me. I was asking myself “Is this how meditation is supposed to be?” Isn’t meditation practice supposed to be for relaxation and completely clearing all my thoughts? Through mentorship, mindfulness retreats, Mindfulness workshops and actively listening to my meditation teacher, I learned meditation is not for relaxation or clearing the mind of all thoughts.
We are simply meditating to
Meditate for it’s own sake of meditating, not to get something in return
Cultivate awareness of our thoughts, emotions and physical sensations
Observe our experiences with non- judgment and acceptance
Learn to accept whatever comes up in the mind and the body
When we form a consistent meditation practice
We start to cultivate an Awareness of your true inner self and our magical mind. We begin to realize what is happening before reacting to situations or stress events, also termed internal or external stimuli. After practicing for a month or two you will begin to notice subtle little thoughts that may come up that you wouldn’t of noticed before you started your meditation. You will notice subtle bodily sensations that you didn’t feel or notice before. Most importantly you will begin to become more aware of any emotions that may arise.
Becoming aware of our thoughts is a powerful tool
Becoming more aware of our thoughts and understanding we have control over our thinking can help us regulate our emotions (what we feel) and how we react (what we do and don’t do). If we form a consistent practice we can begin to cultivate awareness of our thoughts & emotions and begin to enhance our Emotional Intelligence; which has powerful benefits both personally & professionally. Emotional intelligence is the ability to make emotions work for you, instead of against you.
As we continue to practice Mindfulness
We will become more in tune with our self through observing and noting what is happening in the moment throughout each wonderful day. During our meditation practice it is beneficial to observe and take note of any thoughts, emotions or physical sensations. After observing and noting whatever the experience may be, gently and kindly anchor back into the breathing if the breath is the focus point during your meditation.
During each sit down practice we want to
Continue to be accepting of our experience in the moment without any judgment. Be with the moment as it is from moment to moment. Being present in each moment can have life changing effects and give you more joy in life. You can see things with more clarity and remember more experiences that become true memories that will not be forgotten. Learn that love & compassion for your-self, others and the world is also very powerful and without joy, love & compassion there is no true life.
Insights from the Co-Founder ~Derek Beairsto