We’ve all heard about the benefits of starting and maintaining a regular meditation practice. Sitting, breathing, and trying the best you can to still your busy mind has been shown to decrease stress, improve sleep and even impact physiological outcomes like blood pressure and heart rate. But one of the most powerful effects of meditating, for me, involves none of these things. Meditation is an important practice to me because I am terrible at it.
Calling your time sitting cross legged with your eyes closed a practice is key, because whether you just started meditating yesterday or are a yoga guru, you’ll never perfect meditation. In fact, the whole concept of noticing when your thoughts wander and bringing yourself back to the present moment, which is truly the essence of meditation, is a process in allowing yourself to be imperfect, and getting into the extremely regular habit of gently and non-judgementally placing yourself back on the path you intended.
Can you see how this exercise can deeply impact your life and the way you see yourself? Every day, you get a chance, in the microcosm of a meditation practice, to start over, to try again, and again and again and again, with no expectation that you will ever achieve perfection. Or achieve anything, for that matter, other than the chance to practice patience and self-compassion in the quiet moments of meditation, knowing that each day you do, it will become easier to practice these things in your day-to-day life.
Do you have a meditation practice? How has it influenced your life?