Many people have doubts, questions, and negative voices in their heads when they first embark on a meditation journey:
“My mind keeps wandering off to a more charming situation/fantasy, like the food I am going to have for dinner or my next vacation.”
It is the usual tendency of the mind to wander. It thinks about a past event and regrets it, glorifies it, gets nostalgic, gets sad or angry about it, or the mind goes on a trip to the future and becomes hopeful, anxious, or uncertain about it.
You can learn tools to bring the wandering mind to the present moment. Focusing on the breath, a mantra, or even body sensations are all ways to bring the wandering mind back to the meditation.
“Meditation is not meant for me.”
Listen, if you can breathe, you can meditate. One of the most widely revered spiritual masters of our time, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, “Meditation is the subtle art of doing nothing.” When learned through the right means and technique, meditation can happen for anyone. The trick is to not try too hard.
Learn from the Masters
When you want to learn a sport or a foreign language, you seek guidance, supervision—a coach or instructor to help you walk through doubts and nuances and make sure you’re heading in the right direction. When you are seeking to understand the workings of the mind, exploring infinity, it is even more important to have someone there to guide you through the journey, otherwise, you could become quite lost, confused, and even fearful. This is why we believe it is important to learn meditation from an expert teacher or institution where instructors have many years of experience practicing and exploring the art of meditation. (Also, watch to see if they smile a lot from their hearts—that reflects their years of Sadhna or spiritual practice.)
For beginners who struggle with questions, or for people who want inner peace ‘quickly’ like the famous Kung Fu Panda, a good starting point can be to simply sit back and listen to authentic guided meditations that are easy to follow, yet calming and relaxing. There are as many guided meditations as there are different purposes for them to serve. Some help you process difficult emotions, others can provide you a solid and rejuvenating alternative to the afternoon nap, and others may increase your present moment awareness and bring your attention back to the most important thing in the room—your own mind.
In a guided meditation, the listener is taken through a series of instructions which are rendered subtly and softly, so as not to jar your nervous system. Meditations guided in such a manner become easy to follow, no effort is needed to learn the technique. These meditations are perfect for beginners who find it difficult to control the monkey mind and have never experienced the stillness of meditation before.