Do you find meditation difficult? You were probably instructed to focus on your breathing, but distractions and other concerns continue to cause you to lose concentration. You become frustrated and give up; meditating is just not for you. If this sounds familiar to you, you’re not the only one.
In the book, ‘The Art of Happiness’, the Dalai Lama says that meditating is about bringing your consciousness forward. How do you accomplish this? It’s all about using your thoughts. Read these wise words:
“In general, our thoughts only focus on external factors. Our attention follows when your thoughts are distracted. Meditation is about not focusing your thoughts on physical objects. You still have to stay very alert, but above all, become very aware of your thoughts. However, your thoughts should not be distracted from memories of the past or predictions for the future. Focus on the present.”
But now you’re probably wondering; how do you focus on your self-awareness? According to the Dalai Lama, it’s all about seeing your mind as a river that flows very strongly somewhere. Try to stop the water, both where it comes from and where it goes. If you can do that, focus only on the present.
This, however, is not easy to pursue. Therefore, the advice of spiritual guru, Eckhart Tolle, is very important. He states that there are a number of elements that are important. Make sure, for example, that you do not start thinking actively, but simply observe. Be aware of your thoughts, but also make them disappear just as quickly.
Focus on feeling your body consciously. Try to tighten and relax all the muscles in your body and do this from top to bottom, muscle group by muscle group. This will make you very aware of your physical tensions and bring you into a state of relaxation.
A study by Normal Farb at the University of Toronto shows that people have two networks in the brain. The first network is responsible for active thinking. The second network is active when you are not thinking about the past or the future, about other things or other people. This part of the brain is active when you become aware of your senses. You also have to achieve this when you start meditating.