It happens to me all the time. In fact, if I’m not careful, it probably will happen in every session that I sit down to meditate. It goes something like this.
I sit down to meditate. I’m hit with a lot of thoughts from the past or the future. I’m more conscious of something else coming up right after meditation, and so my attention doesn’t go deep enough. More than this, my attitude is somewhat superficial, nonchalant and casual – as though meditation is a daily chore and I have the typical “Let’s get this over with” feeling inside me.
Result? I barely touch even the basic benefits of meditation and worse, I end up spending 15 to 20 minutes pretending that I’ve completed my daily meditation.
With experience, I learned how to do the exact opposite – get a meaningful, profound and surreal experience out of my daily meditation by focusing on a few essential things.
1. Humble down
We’ve spoken about this before on many occasions, but the first few minutes of any meditation sitting must be to humble down and surrender to the powerful, all-pervading force. Treat that force as supreme and be thankful to have an opportunity to be able to feel it and for our soul to be united with it. This sets the stage for settling down to the right attitude for meditation by allowing the raging ego and thoughts within us to get insignificant and start dwindling.
An acknowledgment and sense of gratitude of us having the opportunity to get to the higher state of consciousness and realizing the profoundness and gravity also helps. As opposed to being casual and taking it for granted only because we do this every day or in some cases, even feel entitled to have access to this power. No, this higher state is a precious gift granted to selected human beings. Yes, not everyone is blessed to get this, and there are even people who seek this during their entire life and still don’t get it. Consider yourself very lucky.
2. Feel the love in your heart
The next step is to feel the compassion and love in your heart for this power and for yourself and everyone around. So, if you’re grumpy, angry, annoyed or with any negative feeling, try and get to the depths of your heart and shed these feelings. Do it from your heart, as they say.
As the session progresses, feel the gentle vibrations and sensations on your fingers and treat them as an expression of love of the divine power, not as some physiological effect of doing your meditation.
3. Schedule your meditation only when you don’t have something urgent coming up right after it
Whenever there’s something urgent or important coming up right after, it’s likely a bad idea to schedule your meditation before it since it puts undue pressure on your attention and pulls your attention to the future, causing you to struggle. The best thing is to give meditation the highest priority and do it the first thing in the morning. Give it the time it needs and work everything else around it.
4. Plan for more extended meditation and plan for 10 minutes extra in case you have a deep experience that you don’t want to snap out of.
Don’t box yourself into that 15 or 20-minute time window, keep it dynamic and allow for extra time. The actual state of meditation and higher awareness is both timeless and beyond time. Many times, you’ll find that you don’t feel time moving when in that higher state, like when you open your eyes, you see that the 20 minutes that have passed by felt like 3 minutes to you. And at other times, if your meditation is very deep, you’ll not want to stop or come out of that state. Just continue during those instances, stopping because your 20-minute meditation is complete by the watch is the worst thing you can ever do.
5. Ask yourself each time – did you enjoy your meditation?
If the answer is No, reread this entire article. Something is missing in your meditation, and you’re probably doing it as a chore or ritual.
6. How did you feel after your meditation?
Aside from enjoying it, the right feeling should be “I love this, and I want to come back 2 more times today and do it again”. Or something like that. Really deep meditation has a positively mesmerizing and magnetic effect of pulling you back again and again to doing it.
On the other hand, if your days are going by when you feel lazy, tired and bored about having to do your meditation, something isn’t right about the quality of your meditation, and you’re probably not doing it right.
Sure, you’ll feel all the typical benefits after a good meditation like feeling completely calm within, not feeling the need to react, worry, etc., but wanting to come back soon to do it again is an important gauge of how good and effective your meditation is.