No quick fix.
We know that in the West we all crave the quick fix. We want quick solutions with maximum results. We want to loose 10 kg in 7 days, we want to detox our bodies in 5 days, and get rid of cellulite in 2. The quicker, the better.
With meditation we have these high expectations, too. We read from regular meditation practitioners that their minds are very quiet, they are peaceful and always in some sort of blissful state. Big changes have happened to them, due to their meditation practice and they are now a better version of themselves. I want that, too!
But, to tell you the truth: This is not how I experience meditation. For me it is a struggle. Most of the time it isn’t peaceful at all. And the result is often self-doubt and a feeling of failure. My practice gives me more and more stress about my failed attempt to be a blissful yogi.
Maybe you have a similar experience?
When most of us sit down in an effort to find meditation, the quick results are not showing up. Quite the opposite, it becomes a nightmare. You think you are supposed to be peaceful and have these big internal shifts, calm down and see everything from a new perspective. And yet, it simply isn’t happening. Constant thoughts feel like a deep jungle of thoughts, stories and random chatter. It is like 5 radio stations simultaneously playing in our heads. So many thought! It feels impossible to find this magical place of inner peace.
What if you are a yoga teacher?
Truth of the matter is even with the title “Yoga Teacher” you will always stay a student. You will never stop learning. This life is a constant practice, not only on the mat, but also off the mat. The title doesn’t give you instant enlightening. It might even give you more pressure. You are the one who is supposed to have figured it out and stand for the illusionary image of a perfectly styled, totally Zen yoga guru in an urban hyper-busy life. This is an illusion! We are all the same, going through the same struggles and moments of happiness. We all have the highest expectations of ourselves and aim to be better versions of ourselves.
The good news:
Imagine how happy and relieved I felt when I heard Michael Stone, yoga teacher & Zen Master, state the following in one of his seminars:
“For a beginner in meditation the practice is to simply catch yourself when your thoughts are wandering off and come back to the present moment. For the first 5 years, that is the only thing you should be concerned with. This is your practice.”
No judging. Simply listening, being attentive. Being present.
So when your thoughts come in and sway you away to a far away place, that moment when you catch yourself, and come back to the present moment, acknowledging that thinking took place, without any new story or attachment to the thinking, and you just come back to the present moment. This is your practice.
For me this has been interesting, such a relief, a game changer.
What to do next?
Now I have a new goal. I will start sitting down, being relaxed in my mind, for as long as possible, as long as I can. Maybe 3 min, maybe 30 min – whatever works that day. And I will feel very good. I will feel very good whenever I catch myself and bringing myself back to the present moment. Because that means that I am practicing. I am on this path of meditation, being more intimate with myself. On this path of making friends with myself. On this path of realizing that I am not my thoughts. The thoughts are simply a barrier. They prevent us from connecting with our innermost center, with our light.
Let’s do it together
From today: I want to be more gentle and forgiving with myself. I want to see meditation as a practice of intimacy, a practice of deep listening. I hope to notice when I am no longer present. And cherish that magical instant, when I become conscious, when I catch myself and when I return back to the present.
I hope you get a bit more forgiving with yourself, too. Come on this journey with me to discover & rediscover that quiet space of deep intimacy with the center of yourself.
Meditation Workshop for beginners: Monday 6th February from 20.15 - 22.15 with Deddou in German
Location: Gartenstrasse 14, 8002 Zürich / Price: 45 chf / Register here
Author: Deddou Burkhard
Yoga Teacher & Founder POP UP YOGA