Imagine opening your eyes from a meditation session and feeling transcended, truly peaceful and connected. Now imagine those benefits last longer than just a few minutes. That is completely possible, but most people who meditate are missing the boat because after the initial attempts to meditate, they stop learning how to really meditate effectively. They either become dependent on guided meditations, or their meditation is a great relaxation session, but further benefits are left behind. When you learn how to focus your mind during meditation though, you can make sure your meditation sessions are full, powerful and productive past the initial relaxation phase.
The biggest mistake to meditating is to focus your efforts on your breath. Sure, you need to breath but keeping your mind on your in and out breaths past the initial settling in to your meditation is pointless. You may come out feeling relaxed, but the true productivity comes when you purposely focus your mind on specific topics to consider during your meditation. This sounds contrary to how you are supposed to allow your mind to rest, but if you have ever really tried to not think, you will see that is impossible. Your mind is going to think, so directing its focus and then watching it from an unattached space will bring about an incredible meditation experience.
Focusing your mind properly goes beyond repeating a mantra or phrase over and over which is another method of meditation, that isn’t wrong, but still isn’t as effective as focusing your mind on a specific topic or question and allowing it to do its thing. What I’ve found is when I do this; my mind is less apt to wander about bringing up a huge variety of completely ridiculous thoughts that serve no purpose other than making the attempt to distract me.
The best explanation I’ve heard of this is in the following video by Lama Marut. If you’ve never heard of him, you are in for a real treat. He is a Buddhist Monk that was raised in the Baptist faith which creates the perfect balance of inter-spirituality. Whether you are religious or not, or whatever faith you prescribe to, you will love the information he gives, so make sure and check the video out. Not only will it give you great new meditation tools, but it will open new doors to meditation that you may have never considered before.
If you enjoyed the video, you might want to check out Lama Marut’s new book, A Spiritual Renegade’s Guide to the Good Life.