Hey all, question: When meditating is there any tips you all have for clearing your head? It's a real problem for me as I'm coming to the close of my junior year and there is a lot going on. Obviously thinking about not thinking doesn't help :D, but if there is anything that will please share!
Have a blessed day, Andrew
Another way is to reverse your breathing. ... When people breathe, there is usually a pattern or cadence to it. For example; in, out, pause. or in, pause, out, pause.
Start your meditation by recognizing your breathing pattern, then change it in a small way. Just enough to make you focus on it. like changing from in, out, pause to out, in, pause.
Another thing is to recognize that meditation isn't necessarily about gaining emptiness, but in developing focus. It is about picking a single thing to focus on, like your breathing, or a candle flame, or a simple image in the mind, and using that to allow your other thoughts to fall into the background. But there will still be ideas that float in and out. I've even seen interviews with monastic monks talking about how after thirty years of meditation they still think about things like doing laundry, planning dinner, recent events in their life, future thoughts, family, their friends, and so on.
The trick is in using this focus to gain awareness of the thoughts storming around in your mind so you can hear what they say, then let them go and move on to the next thought. Sometimes it becomes a chain of reasoning or a noticing of a pattern you have that you can then explore.
You could take notice of a particular negative or doubtful thought that you encounter regularly, which you could then isolate and consciously follow backwards to its roots and find out where it came from. Or there could be some event or repeating idea that you have had about a particular topic that you could choose to follow and see where it leads you, or how it might connect the dots with other thoughts you have had. or, of course with a developed focus you can then turn it to visualizations and guided meditations for specific tasks. For example connecting with your energy, cleansing and balancing your Chakras and/or aura, shielding, connecting and communicating with guides, or other beings you have a working relationship with through your magic practice, etcetera.
1: Don't think about how long you have been meditating, it doesn't matter how long you take unless you have somewhere to be.
2: Put something in front of you if you are having a hard time focusing this helps because you are focusing on an object, not your mind. It is fine to open your eyes during meditation. You really don't even need an object to be focused on a certain thing, focus on breathing.
3: Listen to calming music. We are always so distracted by hearing what is going on around us calm music will help, if you are wondering where to find any meditation music all you have to do is go on youtube and look up "Meditation music" and there should be loads of them on there.
4: Make sure you are comfortable at all times, this also includes being hot or cold. It is okay to sit on pillows as well, being uncomfortable is another huge distraction to the body and will keep you focused on just getting comfortable.
5: Breathing, make sure you have a routine of breathing. (breathe in for how many seconds and breathe out for as many seconds) You can also have a mantra, it would help if you don't want an object in front of you and can be used as a substatute for a breathing method.
Sometimes, I find it helpful to meditate in a place that means a lot. So for me, I tend to meditate outside and instead of thinking about what's stressing me out etc, I focus on the smells and sounds in my garden.(I also meditate for 10 minutes upside down in a tree when I need to brainstorm things, but that's just me XD).
If things in your life are stressing you out, meditation is not the only thing that can help you though. When I was going through stress in my life, I would get a piece of paper and write all my worries on it then either tear it up or burn it. I know it sounds silly, but I found it really helps.
Like the others said, focusing on breathing is a good idea as well as being comortable. Being comfortable is very important as it's very hard to meditate when you're thinking about your wedgie(hypothetically speaking XP)
Hope I've been helpful. If you need help with anything else, just shoot me a message. :)
If I find that outside/mundane thoughts are slipping into my head, I will say the word 'no', and bring my focus back to the meditation at hand. I will try to focus on my breathing, or if I have music playing in the background, I will find one instrument to focus on. Personally, I like to listen to the sound of drumming during some of my meditations.
What works for me is the opposite of what most people say to do. I let the thoughts bounce around in my head, but I don't pay attention to them. Like ignoring a really annoying person, Heeheee.
If that doesn't work, try starting your meditation off by colouring or doodling. Once you're in that head space, the quiet 'ignore my thoughts' head space, try focusing on something for a few seconds and gradually work your way up to a few minutes. Science is now confirming doodling, coloring and playing music bring our brain into a meditative mode.
1. Visualize something. If you get immersed in something you are visualizing, you are more likely to focus on it instead of having new thoughts.
2. Be aware of the 'space' of and around your consciousness. Being spatially aware but only on a mental level has helped me cut down on mental chatter.
3. Focus on how your meditation is making you feel.
4. If you can't stop thinking just accept it and then refocus yourself when you feel ready. Remember to love yourself, as frustration is easy in these circumstances.
5. Stressful life events are things that you will probably think about and need to think about. Let your mind process things. Sometimes when you quiet your mind is it's chance to do this. Let it happen if it needs to happen. Then go back to quieting your mind once you are truly ready.
6. It might sound simple. But... focus. Just focus. Keep trying and you'll figure it out. :)