Understanding what happens during meditation is key to understand why we feel certain ways before, during and after our meditation. Not every meditation session will be equal, some more difficult than others. A successful meditation can feel many different ways.
Depending on what is going on inside the mind in the present moment we might feel amazing and if there is inner turmoil going on we might have to face it and feel things that we have been avoiding.
Meditation isn’t always going to feel great but that’s the entire point of meditation. The only requirement for a successful meditation session is that you sit down and meditate. It takes courage to look within and see what is going on for yourself without any distraction. The best meditation sessions will leave us feeling focused and refreshed and others might leave us feeling entirely lost and maybe even feel worse than before. It’s important to understand that meditation is there to help us along the way and find inner clarity even though that inner clarity might come with some negative feelings along the way. A successful meditation session might look and feel different depending on what type of day you are having.
So you’ve allotted yourself fifteen minutes of meditation. You put on your headphones and.. five minutes later you’re on your phone again because you just can’t get the hang of it.
We must first accustom ourselves to what we need to be doing during a meditation session.
The most basic help I can offer is just try to follow the air that is going inside the nose until it reaches into the deepest part of the belly and then exhale through the mouth. Being aware of the air going in and coming out. Breathe in, breathe out.
During this time we might have had a hectic day and our mind is not letting up. It’s completely normal to have sessions like this, do not view this as a failed meditation session.
It doesn’t matter how a successful mediation feels like, the only requirement for a successful session was that you did it.
If you’re still having trouble, I suggest this (or many of his other) guided meditations, I really enjoy them and his voice is fairly subtle and relaxing.
While initially the benefits of meditation might escape us we might eventually have even if it’s just for a moment, a brief hint of silence in the mind.
The silence in the mind is always there in between all the thoughts we have in our daily lives. An overactive mind is far too common in today’s world. In reality, the mind is quiet as can be. Thoughts come and go as they please but instead we are accustomed to thinking that these thoughts are “ours”. That we must be thinking constantly because we don’t know any better.
Once we have this hint of silence, this is our opening into finally starting to feel some relaxation during meditation sessions. It is important as a beginner to understand that we might not totally understand meditation right away but it is vital that we keep on trying as it is a matter of time before you have your “click”. The silence only needs to be felt once and then we are open to it forever. It’s something that has been there before you were born and it will be there after as well. It is eternal, it is vast, it is something we cannot put into words. It must be felt for one to completely understand it.
This silence in the mind is quiet an amazement to feel as we get a break from the constant chatter in the mind. The mind finally lets up and we get to see what is actually going on in the mind, that we aren’t necessarily the thoughts that we encounter every day.
Personally, no matter what, I always feel best during my meditation sessions. The thing with meditation is that it’s constant, it will always be there. Our lives are entirely fleeting, our goals, our relationships, our dreams, it’s all just passing by. Meditation is an anchor. Allowing this anchor into our lives is important because we start letting go of our attachments. Once we start letting go, we can truly live a life of freedom. Imagine you didn’t have any anxiety every day because you were shown that there is a different way to live through meditation?
This silence gives us intense focus once we are no longer living in the world of thought to thought. Just being aware of what is occurring in the mind, we can finally bring that focus back into our waking lives. Living in the present rather than being preoccupied. Living to live rather than living for tomorrow or yesterday.
On the other hand, some of the meditation sessions can be quite difficult.
Have you ever had such a bad day you just wanted to escape from it all and turn off for a few hours before going to bed?
Doing a meditation instead during this time can be so beneficial although almost entirely to painful to endure. What we are saying when we decide to meditate in a day like this is that we aren’t afraid of our thoughts and our pain. We decided to face it head on, feel the pain for all it’s got. Eye of the Tiger type stuff!
These types of sessions may make us feel our emotions so fully that we even get scared of them and want to end our session. It’s this fear that we must face. This is what a successful meditation session feels like. It is at the utmost importance that we face ourselves during our sessions.
It’s important that we realize with the good comes the bad and meditation doesn’t discriminate between the two. It only is meditation. The looking inward that we must do to grow as human beings. To live a better life, to face our fears and become a better person.
I’ve had sessions turn into tears but they taught me something. Facing our issues head on is always better than turning off and tuning out. If we faced every problem we had in life right away then we wouldn’t have any lingering anxiety or depression to deal with.
That’s what a successful meditation feels like. It feels like exactly how you feel in the moment, good or bad.
A successful meditation feels many different ways.
Depending on how our session went, we might feel energized and ready for whatever is in front of is.
If however we had a difficult session that required a lot of attention and a lot of emotions were flying it might make us feel drained and leave us feel as if there is more work to be done.
No matter what you felt during your meditation session, remember that as long as you did it you did well. Meditation becomes easier over time with habit forming and the sessions become easier as well once we learn how to bring meditation into our lives.
The true “goal” of meditation isn’t to sit for fifteen minutes a day and breathe and notice what’s going on. Meditation should be done even when we aren’t meditating.
When we walk throughout our lives we might get preoccupied inside the mind. Our meditation sessions should show us how to bring the focus back without much effort. Think about it like going to the gym, the first few sessions will be rough but after months and months of practice doing things like this while not even meditating will come as second nature.
This is what you should be striving for in your sessions. Not only to have a good session during, but to become more aware after. After years and years of meditating I find myself meditating less and less. I find that I only meditate when I need and that nature will guide me there.
It comes as second nature to me now, as my “mind” muscle has grown I can be more flexible with how I practice meditation. The same will happen to you if you continue practicing, I promise!
For The Curious Beginner
If you’ve reached this page and you’re new to meditating and confused, don’t worry it will eventually make more sense.
Don’t be afraid to sit there and feel uncomfortable for a while, it may even take 10 sessions before you even feel as if you’re getting anywhere.
As I stated before, a successful meditation feels many different ways.
It may feel great, it may feel daunting. It may feel like you did nothing at all.
As long as you have sat down and tried to meditate, this is the only thing that really matters.
Try to be courageous, to face whatever may appear. Even if it hurts, keep going. It’s only fear, fear cannot hurt us anywhere outside the mind. It is our duty to come into contact with ourselves on a deep level and that’s why I assume you’ve taken an interest in meditation.
Keep attempting your sessions and eventually it will click on for you. It’ll be like doing a skateboard trick, you may fail over and over and over until you almost land it. That one time you almost landed it “clicked” in your mind and you’re ever so close to getting there full time.
Keep going, always deeper.