Meditation: Am I Doing it Right?

Meditation is not something that you do. It is a merging of consciousness and form.

Closing your eyes and focusing on your breath is not meditation.

Meditation is a merging of awareness of the meditator and the object of meditation. Uniting with the universal consciousness—The Mother, God, Spirit, whatever name you would like to give—is the state of meditation.

Even by talking about meditation we cannot understand, nor can we analyze meditation to get us any closer to the experience. This state, however, can be experienced in infinite ways. Some people connect through rock climbing, scuba diving, writing, dancing, looking at the ocean, or being with their child.

There is no right or wrong way to be.

The biggest meditation misconception

I have spent years sitting down cross-legged on the floor, focusing on my breath, sometimes very agitated with my "monkey mind" jumping here, there, and everywhere; and sometimes slipping into a state of extreme peace and stillness, feeling the pulse of the universe.

This is the practice of meditation. The biggest misconception about meditation practice is that it is bliss.

Years ago, I went to a 10-day silent meditation retreat. Was I ecstatic, levitating, and communing with God? No, it was grueling. My knees hurt, my back ached, and I couldn’t wait for meal times.

What I did learn was how much my ego or personality wasted energy through mindless talk and habitual responses to people. I saw the juxtaposition between being silent and not looking at another human being for 10 days and how connected and loved I felt, as opposed to being in the busy city seeing many people and feeling so alone.

Sitting still, we are able to observe the tendencies and craziness of the mind and therefore gain some perspective that our thoughts are, in fact, separate from who we are.

Who are we?

But if we are not our thoughts or even our emotions, then who are we?

This is a question humans have been asking themselves since time immemorial and one that we must continue to ask.

Life feels so personal. Me—my—mine! We connect and cling to our thoughts and emotions as though they are real. Yet how can something be so real when it is constantly changing? If you are your thoughts, then what were you thinking last Thursday at 2:15 p.m.?

Sitting down to meditate is using the tool of stilling the body along with a technique to train ourselves to let go of the strong attachments and identification with the idea of who we are, if only for a few minutes.

The gaps between thoughts are where the magic and beauty lie. Those are the moments we experience peace and safety as we are reminded that we are not alone as we struggle through life trying to survive.

The universe does not want us to suffer. The universe wants us to wake up to the power, creativity, and joy that we are. The universe is constantly inviting us to remember that we are a soul in a body, floating in a sea of consciousness through this magnificent and mysterious expression of life.

You do not need to take a lot of time in your day for meditation.

Even 5-10 minutes as a daily practice will have a profound effect on your physical, mental, and emotional well-being as well as the way you experience your life.

Let Go of Thoughts and Step Into More

Gaiam TV has a new meditation guide called Stepping Into the Heart. Learn to open yourself to more of what it is that you're called here to do. Watch the first meditation practice for free!

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