Most people have heard that meditation is key to a happy life. But the lack of time or know-how stops them from starting this practice. How can you find an easy meditation practice for yourself?
“I crash into a table in the darkness, yet it is not the table that has hurt me but the lack of light. So, with old age, all these small things hurt, because the light of meditation is absent.”
“But meditation, Baba,” I said, “is not easy. You make it sound as if it were easy.”
“Is sleep easy?” he asked.
“Yes,” I replied.
“But not for an insomniac,” he said. “And meditation is easy, but you must gain that ease again.”
– Vikram Seth in “A Suitable Boy”
I’ve often suffered insomnia. I tried all sorts of cures, but the one thing that cures it best is fatigue. When you’ve had insomnia for two nights in a row, the third night it becomes pretty easy to fall asleep!
Similarly, when life has gotten too crazy and we’ve crashed against too many tables, we just want to stop crashing. That’s when we are finally ready to learn how to meditate.
Easy meditation practices
Many people make it so difficult to start. They think they have to set aside an hour a day, or achieve enlightenment immediately. Instead, you can start small, with just one minute or two minutes at a time.
An even more time-saving method is to try walking meditation. This way, you get your exercise in at the same time!
21 replies on ““Meditation is easy…””
Primordial Sound meditation sounds fascinating. I’m assuming it includes sounds of water, wind and so on? Wow, I’ll look out for more information on that. I’m learning a little about chakra meditation right now.
I can’t believe I missed this post! Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been posting about the benefits of meditation.
I’m happy to say I’m now in a place where I do find meditation to be easy. But for a long time I struggled with it. For me, it was about finding the right technique. Since the day I learned Primordial Sound Meditation I’ve been meditating daily, and I’m so happy to be including it in my daily routine. It really makes a huge difference to my state of being for the rest of the day.
For me, meditation is the easiest wagon to fall off of. I maintain a super strict diet, rarely miss two days without working out, but meditation is the one thing that I have a hard time sticking with. Fortunately, its available to me when I need it most!
Sounds like you are an achiever, so it’s easier to do things than not do, which is what meditation is essentially about – not doing or thinking. I’ve learnt that when I go easy with myself over meditation, it comes much more easily!
This is timely coz that’s just how I feel right now,like crashing into many tables and encountering obstacles in the many directions I want to take. It inspired me to know that this may be a blessing and that from here, meditation starts.
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My brain is hyper-active too, and not always on useful stuff. Just BE-ing is harder than it sounds, yet so easy and natural once we’re there. Thanks for commenting here!
Wow, that’s a great way to meditate – to focus on your dreams. I tend to get carried away when I do that – with my plans and schemes and generally plotting how to make those dreams come true! I know we’re supposed to do that in visualising though. I try to think about neutral stuff when I meditate. Wish your way worked for me but I guess we all find our own way. Thanks for sharing!
So sorry to hear that you feel like you’re crashing into tables. I feel that way quite often! Yes, it may be a blessing, in more ways than you know, though it’s hard to see or understand right now. Take care, dear. And thanks for taking time to comment here despite the tough time you’re going through.
I meditate by focusing on my dreams. I close my eyes and think of my desires in addition to the possible hardships required to obtain them. Meditation can be difficult, depending on your emotional environment, but in the end it depends on how much you have over yourself mentally.
Meditation used to be so hard for me. It was becuase I couldn’t stop my brain thinking about what I should do next. But over time, I learn how to JUST BE and stop thinking. And today it is much easier and I do enjoy it.
Thanks for sharing.
Imperfect Action is better than No Action
Meditating can be easy and difficult both at the same time. Easy when your mind is at ease…and difficult when the mind if full of clutter.
I find it best to meditate early in the morning before my mind starts overbearing my subconscious. But during the day when stress it at its peak…if you can just sit and breather a little….that’s my mid day meditation.
The mind is like a monkey….jump jump is all it knows…we need to tame it…by consciously realizing it needs to calm:)
Your comment made it very easy for me to be happy I wrote this post! Thanks for the uplifting encouragement. You have a wise friend, to help you relax about meditating and realise that when you think you aren’t meditating, you are. That’s such a helpful insight. Glad to know you were inspired to meditate!
Focusing can be quite meditative, I realise, in the sense that you’re focused on the present, and moving distractions out of your mind. Changing the question, and asking the right one, certainly helps to focus!
Or maybe you already have a calm soul 🙂
And good to see you again! Hope everything has been going well with your health and everything else.
I like the way you said “sit with ease”. That’s the essence of meditation isn’t it? And it does become easier over time, especially when we stop stressing over whether we’re meditating the ‘right’ way and just be still. Thanks for your knowledgeable comment – I can learn from you!
Enjoy crashing around! Alternatively, let sleeping tables lie… 🙂
Interesting point that meditation can be a form of escape. I guess if the escape helps us to face reality with a calm mind, it doesn’t hurt. I’m still trying to understand what you mean by BE with meditation… maybe I’m not at that advanced level yet.
I have meditated for many years now. Even given that, sometimes, if my mind is overly distracted, it becomes difficult to meditate. I stick with it by gently calling my focus back to the UN-focus of meditation.
Yes meditation is both easy and not easy. Usually not easy! Harmony is the key, as you say. Sometimes we try too hard and it’s counter-productive. Now that I’m trying less hard and going with the moment, it’s surprisingly much easier. You seem to meditate quite easily too, I thought. Much better than I am at it for sure!
Thanks for your lovely comment. It’s so sweet of you to take the time to comment here when I know you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders at the moment. My heart goes out to you.
You’re a much more advanced meditator than I am. I’ve meditated for years but on and off, especially since I don’t try to anymore, and just wait until I feel like it or it overcomes me. I like your term UN-focus. Great way to capture the spirit of meditation.
You’re so right that it’s easier when our mind is at ease. You made me laugh when you compared the mind to a monkey – how apt! Morning is usually best for me too – I tried at night before sleep and just ended up nodding off 🙂
Hi Daphne .. my mind went to blame – eg the table .. when it quite patently obvious was not its fault it’s in the normal place .. as Buddha says it is the light or lack of. We do tend to say because of something .. that happened, when actually probably it was something related but completely different.
As JD says – a different question or answer.
Thanks for the thought that meditation will happen, not when we try and arrange it to happen .. and I guess I’m moving in that direction with my elderly .. later I’ll have more time and space .. to run, do and think – time for me ..
Good points .. all the best
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Meditation is easy and yet not so easy. It requires having to give up the resistance to sitting still and just observing. I felt like giving up several times in the past. Every now and then, I also feel like I am not making any headway. Then, it will dawn on me that it is not about achieving any goals or winning any prizes.
You correctly pointed out that life is the same too. Putting up a struggle or running away seldom helps. What will be helpful is to develop harmony with each and every moment, in whatever situation we are in.
I’m glad to know that you are having some fun in your meditation sessions!! All the best!!
Hi Daphne. I USED to BE with meditation a lot. But not in recent years. I suspect it can be used as a form of escape for some people when in fact it really magnifies where you’re at.
Love the story…because I can relate! It’s not easy…just sitting and “being” in the moment. Maybe it’s time to crash into a few more tables…
Great post. Like so many things in life, we want instant gratification. As someone who teaches meditation, it is NOT easy when just starting! I’ll never forget how long it took me to not feel panic during my own practice and finally increase my time – several years. And now when my mind is busy, I know meditation helps, and I sit with more ease than before.
No matter what you’re trying, if it’s new, give it time, start slow…and it will eventually seem “easy”. And then it becomes easy to forget how much effort it took to get there!
It is when you stop trying to meditate that meditation happens. 🙂
Good to read you again. 🙂
I’ve never tried meditation. Maybe my life isn’t crazy enough. Ha. 🙂
I like your candor and story.
I haven’t done much meditation. I do keep my mind clear of *buzz* and I do work on my focus, and temporal skills (I can shift from past, to future, to in the now, as needed.)
The key for me is changing the question. That’s the one thing that’s helped me focus my mind is changing the question.
Oh my goodness, I love what you’ve written here! I especially loved “And meditation is easy, but you must gain that ease again.”
There are times when meditation comes as easily as breathing to me, and other times, I find I’m forcing it (which seems contrary to the essence of what meditation is all about). The best advice I ever received on mindfulness meditation, in particular, was from a friend who told me, as I lamented on how hard it was to stay mindful, “Each time your mind wanders and you bring it back to your breath, you’re being mindful. Mindfulness happens the moment we recognize what’s going on, and it doesn’t care how often we drift off… It only cares that we come back.”
It never dawned on my perfectionist-seeking mind that every time I “mess up and catch myself” while meditating, I’m practicing the very thing I set out to do.
This is wonderful, and I’m so glad you posted it today. After my workout and before my writing session, I think I’ll meditate!