Why does everyone have to make meditation so complicated? So stigmatised? Everyone thinks it's this crazy thing where you do some “Ommmm”s and “Ahhhhh”s while sitting cross legged in some random scenic location, it's simply not that deep guys (despite the thumbnail).
Society has moved away from daily mindfulness, meditation and reflection as technology has developed which has allowed people to receive what is essentially constant stimulation, there is never a boring moment anymore.
We’ve already stressed the importance of boredom and how it is essential for success and happiness so if you want to learn more about that, click here.
Anyone that has ever been successful in life had to rely on meditation to some extent, whether they realised it or not.
So why do you need to meditate?
Everyday, everywhere, everyone is trying to avoid their thoughts now.
People have phones, laptops, smart watches which give them notifications constantly to disrupt their thinking, people listen to music for when going for runs or even just walking down the road and people repress their thoughts as they dive into alcohol and drug abuse, or even simpler things such as choosing to watch TV every time they get home from their miserable 9-5 job.
All this does is cause people to walk through life aimlessly, unaware of why they feel the way they feel and unsure of what they can do to improve their circumstances. Meditation is the solution and you can make it much simpler than you could possibly imagine.
To give you a metaphor, if you hold a banana out in front of you for 10 seconds, your arm won’t be very sore. If you hold it there for a minute, your arm might begin to fatigue just a little bit. After an hour your arm might go numb, or it could’ve already collapsed.
Here’s the thing, the banana hasn’t changed in its weight, the only thing that has changed is the amount of time you’ve held onto it for. To tie this back to meditation, what it allows you to do is drop your arm down temporarily, to recover, to heal, to declutter your mind so that you can continue pushing on through whatever challenges you are currently facing.
Another thing that meditation does, is it allows your brain to enter the alpha brain wave state (8-12 Hz). This is the wave state of ‘relaxed learning’ and is known as the gateway to the subconscious.
Normally when you are going about your day, you are constantly having to make decisions and you fall into the Beta state (13-35 Hz). Meditating allows you to slow your brain down to enter the alpha state, which will make your meditation process far more effective.
Your mind is like a muscle which can be trained, meaning that by the same logic it can be over trained. Just like any other muscle, you need the time to recover with proper management. So lets now get straight down to the process
Step 1: The Set Up
Now meditation doesn’t discriminate against the environment. You can do it just about anywhere as long as you can think clearly. This means you could do it on the bus into work, or as you’re walking to the gym.
But for the sake of those who want to genuinely try it out in a controlled environment, here’s what you do:
- Find a quiet environment, this’ll make the process 100x easier for beginners.
- Find a comfortable sitting position. You can lie down if you know for certain that you aren’t going to fall asleep whilst meditating, but assuming you’re new to meditation, it's best to find a sitting position.
- If sitting down, sit upright, but be comfortable. Don’t slouch in your chair.
- Close your eyes.
Now the process can begin.
Step 2: The First 2 Minutes, BREATHE
For 2 minutes, focus solely on breathing. You want to spend these 2 minutes getting out of your own head and forgetting your thoughts (do we sound contradictory? Just bare with us, we’re getting there). You can pick either box breathing or the 4-7-8 method.
- Box Breathing: 4 second inhale, 4 second hold, 4 second exhale, 4 second hold.
- 4-7-8 Method: 4 second inhale, 7 second hold, 8 second exhale.
Step 3: Hone in on it
For the next minute, pick some sound in your environment and focus on it. It could be wind rustling through leaves, it could be rain dropping on your window sill or even the fan on your computer. Just hone in on it. Normally your mind filters out these recurring sounds, so the purpose of this step is to increase the awareness of what sounds you are subconsciously accustomed to hearing, allowing you to tap into your subconscious.
Step 4: Let the thoughts pass and don’t judge them
You may have noticed when you completed the previous 3 minutes, you couldn’t entirely stick to whatever the task was, because inevitably you’re going to have thoughts pop up into your mind. This next minute is dedicated to you allowing those thoughts to enter your mind.
What’s happening here is that these thoughts are manifestations of your feelings and aren’t based in reality at all. This is where you can begin to uncover the type of person you are, which then enables you to judiciously act in a manner to improve your life.
Take for example, a thought pops into your head that your partner might leave you. Does this mean that your partner is going to leave you? Absolutely not. What it means is that your subconscious mind has identified an insecurity of yours which stems from some incompetence elsewhere.
Through more meditation, your subconscious mind will reveal the solution to this problem as your subconscious always has the right answer. You might find that your real problem is that you’re unhappy with your ability to communicate, which should spur you into action of improving your ability to communicate.
All the solutions to your problems can be found in your subconscious. We just spend too much time consciously consuming desensitising content that we never give ourselves the opportunity to be creative.
Some thoughts have no meaning at all. You could have a song pop up in your head that you heard playing on the radio earlier that day. Through practice, you’ll be able to weave through this “junk mail” and get to the more important “mail”, the mail that requires a response.
Step 5: The Active Meditation
This last step can last as long as you like, or it may not be necessary at all. It is only required when a problem has been identified. Once one has been identified, you spend your time thinking of everything you know about the problem.
Through consciously focusing on the known, your subconscious will generate the unknown solution. Once that solution has then been identified, you move on to step 6.
Step 6: The Affirmations
A solution has been identified, yet there’s still something you should prioritise doing before you go about solving the problem. You must spend the next few minutes talking to yourself in an affirming manner, one in which your problem has already been solved and you are the person you want to become already.
This step also capitalises on your alpha brain wave state, as affirmations intend to reach the subconscious anyway, so meditating is actually the perfect time to do your affirmations.
Think of this step as you being your own motivational speaker. There’s not much to this step that hasn’t already been expanded on in our affirmations article here, so if you would like to learn how to approach this step more effectively, click on this link.
A fair warning for beginners
So there you have it. Sometimes this might be a 3 minute process, sometimes it might be a 20 minute process, but one thing is for certain, meditation is useless without some form of consistency. For the first week, you might even find that you can’t see any problems or solutions and that your head is clogged with useless junk. Meditation takes time specifically because it takes time to CLEAR OUT THE JUNK THAT’S ALREADY IN YOUR MIND.
If you’re part of our community, you fully understand that everything is reduced to nothing without consistency. If you find that you’re able to implement this into your life consistently, you will be spreading the benefits of meditation to your friends, family and just about everyone you want to have a conversation with. This simple declutter of your mind will work wonders for you if you discipline yourself to the process.