I have always had a difficult time with meditation in the past. I have an active mind that runs at high speed so taking time to sit and be with yourself and your thoughts - or without your thoughts more to the point is a challenge.
Many times I have attempted it over the years but I have finally found a great teacher here in Copenhagen. In his guided mediations and teachings it seems to be making sense for the first time. And he has shown me that I do actually have that ability to go inside myself and really find that peace.
Buddhism teaches that all our problems and suffering comes from negative states of mind, and happiness and good fortune from positive states of mind. Happiness is the one thing we all want in life, and a big part of the teaching is that you need to find this within yourself. It is not something to seek outside. If you centre yourself and come into the place of love within your heart and continue to do this over time you will get to a greater state of peace and happiness.
I know that this is often easier said than done.
It is the nature of our mind to think. Often people think that if they are meditating they have to stop their thought process. But you can slow down your thoughts and allow them to flow through you.
I have really found that deep breathing is a remarkable way of being able to get into a clear state of mind where you can really let go of those distractions. You can notice your thoughts come up and then let them go. If you don't give them importance they can pass by and you can watch them go just as quickly.
The mind is really an infinite clear space. When thoughts arise - to see that they are just thoughts to come in and be dissolved just as quickly. We can then choose to replace those negative thoughts with a more positive one.
An interesting question was posed this week. What about negative thoughts that just keep coming up over and over again. Our mind can play the same thought almost like a tape recorder and sometimes can become a habit. Instead we can know that it is just a thought. This really resonated for me. I have had a bad habit of replaying past guilt or situations in my mind to a point that can be quite distressing. So to find a way to release these and be in the present moment is such a gift.
He has also encouraged to go inside your heart and find a place of love. Love for your family, friends, pet - anything where you can resonate with that feeling and then you can come from a place of joy.
The best thing he has taught me in mediation is it is okay…. In other words if you have a day when you can't get into that peaceful state - let it be okay. To not give up on mediation and to say "oh I'm crap at this - I can't meditate" Which is definitely the angle I used to come from.
"When at first you don't succeed, try and try again". He has guaranteed me that if you do put the effort into breathing and mediating at least 10 mins every morning that within a year you will see a remarkable difference in your state of mind. Even so this is a gradual process and it takes time and patience. I am at early days but I will follow his advice and keep going!
And to finish I love this saying. "Rather than expecting life, your work, your relationships to bring you joy - you can bring joy to your work, relationships or any area of your life". Something interesting to ponder upon….
If you are in the Copenhagen area and would like to give it a go yourself I highly recommend
And for a quick guided meditation for everyday I love this app.