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Sometimes meditation rubs your nose in painful but ultimately helpful truths.
Your mind talks rubbish: anyone who tries to focus on their breath for five minutes knows this.
You’re insatiable: have you had enough food, sex, praise, comfort, holidays? Has anyone?
Because everything changes, you can’t rely on anything.
Your chimp-based evolution has wired your brain to see threats everywhere.
You’re going to die (okay, meditation doesn’t show you this directly but it’s true anyway).
You were shielded from most of these certainties when you were young but if you ignore them when you’re an adult you’ll create problems for yourself.
Gimmie the numbing distractions!
Popular methods for avoiding awkward truths include: working too hard, taking drugs, over exercising, procrastinating, pornography, self-loathing and checking your phone every two minutes. Meditation removes some distractions so you are gently forced to see how things really are. This can be daunting but sometimes your coping methods cause more problems than facing the truths themselves. Late night drinking to avoid the fact that you chose the wrong career might be causing you more difficulties than actually changing your job.Of course in many ways drinking will seem like a much more fun option than acknowledging that you’ve wasted time in a job you don’t like.But before you throw your meditation cushion in the skip…
Remember you can only deal with something if you acknowledge it exists in the first place.
When you accept How Things Actually Are it will be much easier to find a happier way to solve your problems. In the same way you don’t become furious at gravity when you fall off a ladder, accepting that life is a bit shit sometimes, helps you come up with better solutions. You can also take comfort in the fact that everyone you know, and will ever know, also has to deal with the same crap. It might even bring you closer together.Meditation can feel a little brutal sometimes but life is tricky enough without deceiving yourself.
We get it – sometimes you’d rather pick the peas from the back of the freezer than meditate
You’ve got stuff to do! A company to run, a house to organise and lies to tell your children.
You don’t have to feel like it to meditate. Yep, you in your ‘oh fuck this I’d rather unclog the drains’ state is ideal because if you waited for a window where you feel calm, motivated and serene, well you’d never do it at all, would you? Waiting on a good mood, or for the perfect five minutes to arrive is a really good way of not doing any meditation at all.
Not In The Mood For Meditation, Meditation
- Accept your mega-strop and sit down
- Fold your arms, think to yourself ‘this is ridiculous’
- Roll your eyes and REFUSE to meditate
- Focus your attention on one breath
- Breathe in. Breathe out
- When you get distracted, go back to your breath
- Repeat for 10 breaths
Meditation isn’t about being calm and happy. It’s about accepting when you’re not.
It’s actually better to do meditation when you don’t feel like it because you learn that tolerating, or getting interested in your massive sulk is excellent training. It teaches you that any emotion is a good object for meditation, and the worse the mood the easier it is to focus on!
Just bloody do some.
Metro asked us for some advice about New Year resolutions, and kept in the swearing, which we enjoyed. They also listed as the No1 book to get you through 2021, which was nice!
Hold on to your didgeridoo, we’re going to talk about the open nature of consciousness…
Yep, it’s a big concept but actually one you live with all the time. A good example is hearing sounds. This is a tricky idea to get your head round because it’s such a normal part of your experience. But here goes…
You hear stuff all the time, right? But try not hearing things.
We’re not talking about your ability to control sounds: putting your fingers in your ears or playing the trumpet. We’re talking about how you receive sound.
You can’t make make sounds last a second longer than they do. Noises just come and go as they damn well please.
Hearing is effortless, you don’t need to do anything.
Your awareness (another word for consciousness) is always open.
There is no effort to be made. Likewise, you don’t control your ability to taste, touch or see.
Once you stop thinking all the bloody time, meditation makes the unstoppable nature of this river of sensation ever clearer. You can relax with the constantly changing input from your senses. Like really relax.
Eventually you’ll see that all experience is like this. Sensations, thoughts, sights, emotions. They all come, do their thing and go.
You don’t have to respond to everything you receive. The effort you make to control all this information is why you are tired, frustrated and scared. So relax and let them pass instead.