In order to cultivate a true understanding and get the most out of a mindful meditation practice, it’s important for our minds to be open and receptive. This will insure that learning and change can occur. That being said, the attitude that we bring to our practice is crucial. It is the soil in which we will effectively cultivate daily practices that will inspire confidence in the pursuit of living our lives with a higher purpose.
There are several attitudes that we should bring to our mindfulness practice, but today I want to talk about just two: Patience and Non-Striving.
PATIENCE: Most people are impatient. With ourselves, with other people, with life itself. We want things and we want them now! However, most of us are not even aware of it and not always able to label it clearly as impatience.
When we begin meditating, we recognize our impatience. We realize we have a hard time sitting still and paying attention to our breath. We notice a pull inside… To move, to get things done, to go to the next moment without fully appreciating this moment. We see very clearly our impatience when we meditate. Now this is actually a good thing! The first step is recognition.
The most important thing to remember is that patience is not something we need to develop. Instead, we need to learn how to let go of impatience. This may sound like the same thing, but it’s actually quite different. Patience is an important part of a clear and balanced mind. If we know this and can understand it, then we won’t try to create patience. Instead we will simply let go of the relentless activity of our own minds and thereby experience patience. So basically we can say that the absence of impatience can lead to the experience of patience. Now, if we feel that we need to try and create patience, then we will most likely feel more stressed about the process and may even create more impatience in our minds.
According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, “Patience is a form of wisdom. It demonstrates that we accept the fact that sometimes things must unfold in their own time.” Just like the butterfly, life unfolds at its own pace. You can’t rush it. The goal is not to strive for patience, but allow it…and that brings us to the next attitude:
NON-STRIVING: Almost everything we do, we do for a purpose. We are driven to get something or go somewhere. We are driven to control our lives. But in mindfulness this can be an obstacle. This is because mindful meditations are different than anything we do in life as ultimately, meditation is a non-doing. It has no goal other than for you to be yourself.
Our body, mind and spirit are always striving for something. We strive for work/life balance. We strive to become better parents/partners/children. We strive to create a meaningful life. We strive for a sense of purpose. We strive to become the best version of ourselves. We strive for excellence.
Yet it’s in the non-striving where we achieve balance, meaning, purpose and excellence. When we can dedicate time to our wellbeing, we can actually achieve a state of harmony, a sense of inner peace that we all long for. We can achieve our goals by allowing our mind to settle into the stillness….and in this stillness the answers we are striving for appear.
This can be difficult, as striving has become a way of life for many of us. What works for me and what I like to incorporate in my meditation classes are sound baths. Sound baths help facilitate shifts in our brainwaves by using entrainment. Entrainment synchronizes our brainwaves by providing a stable frequency which the brainwaves can attune to. By listening to the rhythm and frequencies of the crystal bowls, we can downshift our normal beta state (normal waking consciousness) to alpha (relaxed consciousness) and even reach theta (meditative state) where profound learning, healing and growth can occur.
By allowing ourselves to tune into these more relaxed states of consciousness, we can come back to our normal state with a focused awareness. We can begin to realize the importance of trying less and being more. Now, the idea is not to abandon our goals. The idea is to focus our energy on the present moment, without being consumed with the outcome.
Here’s a short meditation you can practice right here, right now:
Take a moment right now
Go outside and sit down in a comfortable spot
Close your eyes
Listen to the wind swirling
Listen to the birds singing
Listen to the world moving
Feel the love inside you
Connecting to all that is
Open your heart to who you are right now,
Not who you would like to be,
Not the person you are striving to become,
But the being right here before you, inside you, around you.
You are already more than whatever you can know.
Let yourself just be
You are perfect, whole and complete
Just as you are
Breathe into this moment
This moment is perfect as is
I hope this serves you 🙂
If you’d like to hear more about my meditation classes, visit me on my website: www.camillesacco.com/events