Struggling to find the discipline to sit? Long time meditation teacher Rod Galbraith explains how to unlock the joy and bliss awaiting in your practice
By Rod Galbraith
Meditation is often perceived as a “secret” discipline for those advancing on a spiritual path. As a meditation teacher, my passion is helping people realise that everyone already has the innate capacity to cultivate meditative connection. The secret lies in demystifying the art of meditation so it can become a joyful skill that you love to explore daily. Here are some ways to take meditation from being a discipline or a chore to being a delightful experience of connection.
Be at ease in your body
The key to healthy meditation on a physical level is to be attentive, while also being comfortable. If that means sitting in a chair as opposed to forcing lotus pose, or enjoying rhythmic movement rather that holding still, then do what feels natural. Explore meditation standing, walking, lying down or sitting in whatever position feels supportive for you.
Savour your breath
Breath is a conscious bridge to relaxation in the body, so spend some time simply savouring a relaxed calming breath and the rhythmic movement of your diaphragm. You may fall in love with this so much that it becomes a delightful practice in itself.
Accept the flow of attention in meditation
Meditation is a continuing cycle of attention flowing to a restful and relaxed state of connection, and a balancing flow of restful connection that heals the stresses of your life. The arising desire to contemplate and rehearse your life is a brilliantly innate response, designed to bring balance and restful wisdom to your being. The key is to lovingly accept the expression of thoughts and emotions as the healing part of meditation.
Embrace your thoughts and emotions
Most people have an idea of what successful meditation should be – usually involving ideas around conquering thoughts. Language around meditation often originates from traditions designed for “renunciate” lifestyles, which highlight mastering the subtle layers of the mind – thoughts and emotions. This is fine if you are a monk living in the Himalayas, but if you’re living a modern, demanding life this can create internal conflict.
A rather surprising attitude for most people, when offered in meditation, is the embracing of all that arises in you with a welcoming and loving attitude. It’s natural and healthy that your busy life will call for your attention while relaxed in meditation.
Welcome and accept the flow of your life
What better place to move through your life’s challenges than in a state of conscious rest? It’s normal and also healing to think about aspects of your life when you’re meditating. Welcoming this in meditation will cultivate insight infused with rest and acceptance. Accept the arising of thoughts then return your attention to your meditation technique with a sense of love and wonder.
Do what you love
There are endless meditation techniques. Discover what it feels like to be at home in yourself by exploring different pathways – savour the breath, dive into mantra or sound, or spend time delighting in nature. The key is to play with what awakens feelings in you of peace, joy and love, as these are your true nature.
Rod Galbraith is a Yoga and Meditation Teacher Trainer and co-founder of InYoga in Surry Hills. He is dedicated to sharing the wisdom of yoga as a tool to a life of wellbeing.