What Should You Expect From Meditation?

I’ve been meditating almost daily for a little over two years now. So, I know enough about meditation to know what I don’t know (which is a lot), and also, that I know a little bit.

I’ve never done a retreat, or sat with a guru in person. I have used the Calm, Headspace, and Waking Up apps. I have read a few books written by experts on the topic. I practice Qigong, which (in short) is a form a moving meditation.

Daily, I practice what is commonly known as mindfulness meditation. It’s the one that you’ve probably heard about lately. There are other forms.

This typically involves sitting down, getting still, focusing on your breath, relaxing, trying to let go of your thoughts, and deepening your awareness of sensations & emotions arising and passing.

Usually, you will sit with the assistance of a guide. It can also be done without a guide, perhaps using a timer or a bell. Sessions are usually about ten minutes long (on the apps I mentioned), but, you can get started with as little as one or two minutes a day.

I believe that everyone should meditate daily. I understand that ‘it might not seem like it’s for you’. Meditation doesn’t necessarily have to take the form I have described above. There are other ways.

Consider that one thing that is true for you, without a doubt: you have a mind that is full of thoughts. You live in a world that is full of things that fill up your mind, all day long. You, most certainly, can benefit from learning how to use (or, observe) your own mind better; from more clearly seeing & feeling what is going on inside of you.

Today may not be the right day for you to start. That’s OK. I didn’t say that you were ready, yet.

If you do give a try, you should not expect to achieve enlightenment. You may experience some amazing feelings. This is great. Most likely, this is a state of deep relaxation or awareness, which you may not have experienced in a long time, perhaps since you were very young.

You have not just become Buddha or Jesus. Sorry to burst your bubble there.

However, when you start to see the difference between being caught up in your thoughts, and not, you can take that skill with you throughout the rest of your day, which has very practical applications.

With daily practice, you can expect to have increased moments of clarity and happiness throughout your day when you are not meditating.

You can expect that it will not always be easy to sit. Some days, you will barely be able to focus at all, and, that’s OK. Stick with it.

You can expect to develop and sharpen your most powerful tool: your mind. You can expect to raise your ability to focus, and to become a better listener. You can expect to be able to notice your own emotions rising, and, with time, to learn to let them pass before you react to situations rashly.

You can also use meditation as a ‘secret weapon’, any time of day. While I typically sit first thing in the morning, I ‘add’ in sessions regularly. Sometimes they’re really short; sometimes they’re for a full ten minutes. I will do these before meetings, for example, so that I enter the room in a completely clear & focused state.

You can also expect that, as your overall stress levels go down, you will see (or be able to achieve) improvements to other areas of your health, because your mind (a part of Spirituality) is one of the 4 Keys to good health: Nutrition, Strength, Spirituality, & Love.

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