Being here, being now
Meditation is a practice of self-discovery, is a journey back to our hearts. My method integrates ancient wisdom, modern science, and bringing clarity to any aspect of your life. Think about mediation as washing your brain. You shower at least once a day (hopefully), so why not wash your mind. We are constantly thinking, judging, evaluating. Even in sleep. Our brain needs time to chill. Literally.
As for the second week, we are addressing some of the most common pitfalls around meditation, we’re eliminating these pitfalls right now, so no one spends unnecessary time on whether they’ve “got it” or nor. This is a process, it takes time, be gentle with yourself along the way.
There is one type of meditation. There are, in fact, many kinds of meditation, some include sitting still while others involve walking or dancing. There are many types of yogic meditations, Buddhist, and so on. Some like to meditate alone, others in a group. It’s all good, we’re different people, and different actions suit us in different periods in our lives.
Meditation means empty the mind/fighting thoughts. No. There is no fight, no repressing, and no forcefulness about meditation.
Fighting with thoughts (or any other type of mental impression), will simply strengthen them, and lead you to an agitated state. The only thing we do in meditation is to consciously withdraw our attention from engaging with thoughts by focusing it on something else. With this, the mind slowly calms down. Meditation is simply the process of continuously regulating attention.
Not getting deep enough like previous times. Meditation isn’t something one should measure nor compare. There might be days where the mind is always yapping, so redirecting the focus gets a little challenging. You can have been a daily meditator and still experience the chatter of the mind.
Meditation is a spiritual/religious practice. Meditation is an ancient practice, and it was indeed created/discovered within religious contexts. However, for most techniques – especially as practiced in the West – there is nothing religious about them. In other words: you can practice meditation without needing to believe in anything. A Christian or Muslim can practice it without any conflict with their faith. The same goes for atheists and agnostics. Practicing meditation will not make you religious, just as doing stretches or yoga will not make you a Yogi.
Meditation is just relaxation. Relaxation is one of the primary effects of meditation; also, to a certain degree, it is one of its conditions. Relaxation is releasing the tensions on the body and calming the breath. Meditation uses relaxation coupled with regulation of attention (one-pointedness), and introspection (looking inside rather than outside) to drive you to deeper states of consciousness.
Meditation should be executed at the same time. We suggest doing it in the morning, it’s a great way to start your day rather than scrolling through social media. When we wake up, our minds are in a state to be primed, however how we choose to prime it is based on what we feed it. However, some days, you might have an early morning, and some days you need to sleep in, we’re big proponents of sleep because this is when your body restores itself.
I need to sit in a lotus position to meditate. No. The essential element of the posture is keeping the spine straight, from your hips to your neck and head. As to the legs, you can sit cross-legged on a cushion if you like; otherwise, a chair will do. Physical flexibility is not a requirement for meditation. You can lie down on your back if you prefer.
I need to hold my fingers in a specific position (also called: mudra). In yogic teaching, mudras can be used as a means to activate particular parts of the body, such as the third eye, for example. These are not mandatory. In the guided meditation, you will be directed if you are to use your hands. For instance, in some reflections, i will ask you to put your hands on your heart, simply to feel into your heart, connect with it, and deepen the brain-heart connectivity.
Our real being is effortless, but our mind is in a constant state of making an effort. This effort is often automatic, and we are mostly unaware of it. This is simply the nature of mind – mind is movement, creation, imagination (image-in-action?). You cannot make the mind move-less, but you can make it one-pointed.
When doing this, your mind will probably have a range of thoughts passing through it. You might have all the different urges not to sit/lay where you are and instead rather feel inclined to wash your dishes or pay your bills. That’s common. Don’t judge the thoughts, nor yourself. Don’t attempt to avoid them, but instead accept them gently and bring yourself back the present moment by getting back to the point of your focus. Your anchor and focus point throughout this workshop is your breath and your heart-space.
conscious anchor - setting an intention
Before starting, it is essential to gain clarity of your intention. This will be your conscious anchor, whenever the shadow aspect of the ego creeps into steering you limiting beliefs such as “I am too tired, I’ll do it tomorrow“ or “I don’t have time,“ or other procrastinating thoughts, your anchor will serve you as a grounding tool and remind you of why you began this journey in the first place.
Your anchor does NOT have to be some profound intention. In fact, to serve here as an expander and show that I transcended my limiting beliefs through the intention that I just wanted to FEEL better. I was not a morning person, especially not in the middle of pitch-black dark mornings a lá Swedish winter-time. The snooze button was a good friend of mine. Some mornings I was too tired to get up, yet dedicated to my WHY, so I plugged in my earphones and meditated in bed before getting up. I believe that if there is a will, there is away. If you want to find excuses not to do it, you will find them. My intention to FEEL better was of the highest importance, I was fed up with living in sorrow, feeling anxious, and having panic attacks following me around. Deep down, I knew that life isn’t meant to feel sucky, although I only carried sucky emotions and negative thought patterns.
Take 5-10 minutes to write about anything that came up or any details that were meaningful during your meditation. If you have emotions or feel stuck, it's okay. Just breathe into it.
This is a safe community, created to encourage communication between each other and to share experiences. Please leave questions and comments in The Atelier The Ché Private Facebook Group for your fellow meditators to respond based on their personal experience. Constructive and nurturing feedback only! Sara will not be answering comments or questions or navigating your personal circumstances. Those can be done in a session.