Most people who know me would know that my energy levels run somewhere between excitable and hyperactive. I've never been one to sit and just relax, so the thought of meditation has never really been something I thought I could do. But you can't ignore all the talk and claimed benefits of practising it. So for the past 12 months I have been trying to get my head around it, with little to no success.
Until recently, that is.
At the start, my process of attempting to meditate was to sit or lay in a quiet room, focus on my breathing and try to quieten my mind. After two or maybe three minutes of this, I would lose the rhythm of my breathing, get annoyed that my mind wouldn't shut the fuck up and all I could hear was the bloody dripping tap in the kitchen!
This meditation stuff is balls. How come everyone else talks about it helping to energise, focus and clear their minds? Obviously I’m not cut out for meditation. So I kinda just left it for a while…
I happen to be a big fan of the late British philosopher, Alan Watts. I love to listen to his podcasts and talks on YouTube; he speaks in a very real and relatable language, which I like. So, when I happened to stumble across a fourteen-minute guided meditation by Alan, I decide to listen. In my mission to incorporate meditation into my health and fitness regimen, I clicked play…
Fourteen minutes later, I opened my eyes. What the fuck? Did I actually just meditate?
The experience was surreal. I reckon I only heard the first two minutes of his voice and then
nothing; my mind went blank.
I knew I hadn’t fallen asleep because I opened my eyes when there was a sudden change in the music. When I looked at the screen it was just twelve seconds into the next video (this was on my laptop by the way). How weird was that?
The next couple of hours afterwards I felt motivated, energised and clear minded.
So what was different about this meditation experience to all my previous attempts? Well I have linked the video below so you can try for yourself, but for me it was what Alan Watts had to say about meditation:
Let your ears hear the sounds, but don't label them.
It’s not about clearing your mind, it's not about having silence, it's all about letting what happens around you just happen and to realise you’re not in control of any of it.
This was the game changer for me. Instead of trying desperately to block the thoughts coming into my head, I just let them in and checked them off. Instead of insisting on pure silence and calm, I just listened to the sounds of the world but did not focus on what I was hearing.
It was amazing.
I still come back to this meditation video often, and what I will say after doing it for about 3 months, is that it's not always the same experience, but the experience is always good.
So if you have found yourself unsuccessful in your attempts at meditation, come back to it every now and again. Use a range of different guided meditations or different times of day to practice or a different place of comfort to help with your focus. Some of you may not be interested, but if you are then hopefully you will find what does work for you. And if this reaches just one other person and they experience the exhilarating effects of meditation, well then my work here is done!
The video is below; give it a click you have nothing to lose.