How to be Present
More than anything, I have found that meditation is the best in bringing me to the present moment. Meditation has been proven to decrease physical pain and anxiety. But, what exactly is meditation? It’s a technique used to attain a state of consciousness that’s different from the waking state.
Meditation is focused attention on something. Many people use the breath as their “anchor” for meditation. The joy that comes from meditation is everlasting in our lives. Meditation also leads to being non-reactive to our emotions and thoughts. How do we get to this place of non-reactivity in our lives?
Meditation brings you to the present moment. Meditation is a state of mind. It’s simply being– not doing. There is no wrong way to meditate, and there’s no right way to meditate either. What I have struggled with the most when it comes to meditation is worrying about what my mind thinks about while I’m meditating. It’s not about clearing the mind.
What matters is sitting with yourself for a period of time, what matters is the focus we have on our anchor. The most effective anchor, or point of focus, in meditation is the breath. The breath is the bridge between the physical and the ethereal, or spiritual realm. The breath happens in the present, so we become present when we bring attention to the breath.
It’s ok to Start Again
Become the observer when meditating. Observe your thoughts, observe your breath. Observe your state of being. If the mind wanders, it’s ok to start again. Let the thoughts float away like clouds in the sky. Thoughts and feelings are an offering, they are a gift, let them be there. Accept everything as it is– there is no need to change. There’s no need to react. It’ll take patience, but the time will come when you will move beyond thoughts.
When the mind isn’t there to distract, it’ll become silent and that’s when meditation deepens. Meditation is used to look inward for your own answers. All the knowledge and wisdom you need in this moment is inside of you. You only need to bring your attention inward to begin to connect with this part of you. Meditation is ultimately committing to know yourself.
There’s meaning in the meditative posture itself. Being in the same place at the same time each day and in the same posture helps to train the mind to enter the meditative state. It’s important to be comfortable when meditating. Sitting up in your own strength with your spine long is important. It’s true, when laying down the spine is also long, but it is also easy to fall asleep. The idea is to be aware and focused, but the mind calm. There’s a component of gravity when meditating that is important to be sitting up. When you find that place and posture each day, your being will know it’s time to meditate.
As we continue in our meditative practice, we will find that we can feel our emotions before we react to them. Meditation frees us from worries. It brings us to our center in the present moment. You are stronger when you meditate. Soon, you will find that you’ll notice your thoughts before you react to them.
Meditation is about you, not others. It’s not about achieving something, it’s about being with whatever is there and staying with it. From that place, is where the answers will come. It will take time to see results. Be consistent, you’re not alone in exploring this world of meditation.
Let me know in the comments your favorite ways to meditate!