Great advice from Dr. Alexia, on how Meditation does not have to be a struggle.
Here are four valuable perspective gems that can help you experience ease with meditation. Give them a try and see what happens.
1. Meditation is an Experience
Our experiences are all encompassing. Essentially being present and attentive with what is here. My eyes may be closed or open during a meditation. I may be walking, talking, listening or eating. It may feel pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. In fact noticing my judgment of what is pleasant or unpleasant is also part of my meditation experience (see # 2 below).
2. The Purpose of Meditating: to Notice, Be the Witness/Observer: Conscious Awareness
Noticing my breath, my thoughts, my discomfort or my resistance to meditating is meditating. The shift in becoming the observer or the witness to myself is the purpose. In doing so, I create a sense of expansiveness of who I identify myself to be – that is: “Alexia – Alexia the person in my body, who looks like I do, the friend, the sister, the daughter, the naturopath, the partner etc.” By seeing and noticing I am more than my roles, emotions, stories, labels or constructs, I experience expansion and freedom. I createspace beyond the limiting beliefs I have of myself. This shift transforms into compassion, openness and a willingness to truly connect with my own heart and the hearts of others. Too often we live from a world of “either or” instead of a world of “and.” As Thich Nhat Hanh says, we “see with new eyes.”
3. Let Go of Any Expectation Before, During or After Meditating: Simply Be Curious
When I approach my mediation practice with genuine curiosity to whatever I experience, the expectation to receive or gain something from meditating melts away. If I expect meditating will help me to feel better, then when that doesn’t happen (which is sometimes the case), I have now set myself up to feel disappointed. Disappointment can lead me into judging my way of meditating or my ability to meditate. Here’s the funny thing; by focussing my attention on what I can get from meditation or by judging my experience of meditating as helpful or unhelpful, I have taken myself out of the experience itself. I am back into the ‘either or” instead of being the witness to my experience. Make sense? Let go of the pressure!
4. Be Heart Centred Toward Yourself: Compassion, Forgiveness and Generosity of Spirit
Compassion and loving kindness towards the hidden or not so pleasant parts of me such as irritability, anger, sadness, self loathing, disappointment etc. These little parts of me are here for a
reason and often need some attention from my own heart in order to heal. Rumi’s poem The Guest House captures this concept beautifully. The more I can open to my experience and let it be what it is, the more I feel and experience ease and joy.
For me, meditation is a portal to my heart and higher consciousness by opening to what is here in any moment. Integrate these 4 gems into your practice.
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By: Alexia Georgousis ND. Dr. Alexia is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor in Toronto and a highly engaging wellness Facilitator at Well Street Health. With formal training in Interdisciplinary Mindfulness, Transformative Mindfulness and Mind Body Medicine, Dr. Alexia views well-being as a continual practice – one that requires patience, compassion and loving kindness for ourselves. In her daily practice, she works with individuals to help them feel more vital, more whole, and more engaged in their lives.