Hi and welcome to the Daily meditation. Today I’m going to share some very simple ways to make meditation significantly easier. Now, you might have noticed that at times meditation seems very difficult. It can be difficult to focus, you get distracted by external things, you get distracted by internal things such as your thoughts and feelings, and at times it can seem almost impossible just to focus on what you are meditating on. But no worries, because today I’ve got some very simple but highly effective steps to make meditation easier.
So if we want to make meditation easier, we first have to understand what is happening in meditation.
When you meditate, there are three things involved. Firstly, you have your mind and your inherent ability to focus. Now some people can focus very easily. Others find it a lot harder, for instance if you have anxiety, or if you have stress, you’re going to struggle to focus. On the other hand, if you’re calm, you’re healthy and you’re happy, then it’s going to be much easier to focus. So the first thing is your ability to focus.
The second thing is the object on which you are meditating. Now, a lot of people only meditate on the breath. However, that is not always the best option as I will get into you later. Some meditation objects are easier to focus on, and by changing your meditation object you can make it easier to focus and to meditate. So that’s the second thing your meditation object.
The third thing you need to be aware of is everything else. Everything around you, anything that could distract you. For instance, you might be distracted by external sounds. You might be distracted by internal thoughts or even physical sensations.
So we have three things occurring in meditation. We have your ability to focus on the object on which we are meditating. And everything around you and inside you that could potentially be distracting you to make meditation easier.
We want to increase your ability to focus. Also, we want to choose an object that is easier to meditate on, and thirdly, and finally reduce any distractions.
So with that in mind, here are my top tips to make meditation easier.
Firstly, eliminate as many distractions as possible. When you’re meditating a=nd you’re focusing on whatever you’re focusing on, external and internal stimuli can distract you. It could be your noisy neighbors. It could be that somebody’s got the TV on in the background. It could be that you’re actually thinking about everything that you have to get done, or it could be that you happen to have a pain in your leg or some other physical sensation that is distracting your mind. So the first thing that we need to do to make meditation easier is to reduce distractions.
So here are many ways in which you can reduce distractions to make meditation easier. Firstly, consider all external distractions. I’m sure you’ve noticed that there is a ton of things that can distract you if you are meditating at home. For instance, it could be that you have other family members who are making noise in the house. It could be the TV’s in the background. It could be your neighbours, it could be anything.
So one really easy way to remove distractions is to focus on environmental distractions. You could, for instance, go to a relaxing public park where it’s going to be quieter and there’ll be less sound or auditory distractions. Not only in a park do you have less noise, but you also have things like birdsong and the breeze and the trees and other relaxing things that will help you to focus.
So step one is to change where you meditate. If that’s not really an option, if there’s some reason why you’re stuck at home, another alternative would be to create a meditation room or even a section of one room in your house or apartment where you can meditate. Just get a room divider section off that one portion of the room and make everything in that portion of the room incredibly relaxing. Then you’ll have fewer distractions to stop you from meditating.
There are other option too. You can just put in noise cancelling earbuds. You can play relaxing music even if you just hum to yourself any kind of sound is gonna help to eliminate background noises that would otherwise distract you. Other things you can do to remove environmental distractions would be to do what they do in Zen or zazen and meditate facing a wall. I’m gonna get more into that in just a minute.
So in Zen meditation, monks sit facing a wall with their eyes open. The wall is completely blank. So there’s absolutely nothing to do. So by facing a blank wall or being in an empty room, you can reduce distractions and improve your focus.
So step one, remove any kind of environmental distractions that are inhibiting your ability to focus when you meditate.
Now Step 2. This is actually a really interesting step, so Step 2, consider the object on which you are meditating.
Very many people meditate only using the breath. They just focus on the breath. In fact, I’ve spoken to some people who think that they can only meditate on the breath, and meditation is entirely focusing on the breath. That is simply not true. You can meditate on any object that you want to focus on, and some objects are better for meditation than others now. Interestingly, sometimes the breath is not actually the best thing on which to meditate. The reason why is that the breath can be very elusive. The physical sensations of the breath are quite subtle, and certainly there’s nothing to see and next to no sound. So breathing by itself doesn’t really give your mind a lot to focus on, and so it can be hard to focus and to meditate when you’re just focusing on your breath. Now what you can do to make that better is simply to hum. So if I sit here and I hum. Or if I use a mantra. That gives me a kind of auditory stimulation on which I can focus my mind. Now not only does humming give you something auditory that’s easier to focus on, but you’ll actually notice that if you do hum, the sound of humming actually removes some of the distractions of your thoughts. It kind of masks your thoughts so you’re not so distracted.
Now there are other objects that you can meditate on as well. For instance, in the yoga practice called Tratika, you meditate on a candle. You simply sit in a dark, quiet room, light the candle, and then you watch the candle flame. The candle flame gives you a kind of visual stimuli that can make it easier to focus your mind. You can also meditate on something like Tibetan singing bowl. You can meditate on a meditation crystal. You can meditate on anything that you choose. So my advice to you would be to consider the object on which you are meditating. Don’t simply presume that the breath is always the correct thing, because that’s what most people happen to discuss.
Thirdly, and finally, the last thing that you can do to make meditation easier for yourself is to increase your focus. Now this isn’t as easy as the other two options. When it comes to increasing your minds ability to focus, that’s a little bit harder. However, there are some things that you can do to help your brain to focus when you meditate. For instance, get some gentle exercise before you start to meditate. It could be like a walk or some like a slow yoga practice such as yin yoga or something like that. It helps to get your muscles moving, which will release any tension and then when you sit and meditate, your body will be more relaxed so your mind will be less inclined to go to any sources of tension in your body.
Another thing that you can do to help your mind to focus is to consider your diet. Now you don’t need to get into any kind of fad diet thing. However, there’s some things that definitely impede your ability to focus. For instance, you should probably avoid drinking too much caffeine before you meditate for at least two to three hours before you meditate. Because caffeine, of course, is a stimulant. Other things that you can do include drinking plenty of water because drinking water actually helps your heart to relax. It helps to balance your blood pressure and your heart rate. All things that can have an effect on your mind. If you have a very high or even a somewhat high heart rate, you will find that your mind is distracted by that.
So just by making a few very simple lifestyle adjustments, you can help your mind to focus and that will make it easier to meet.
So we’ve gone through quite a lot in this video and. I would just like to recap everything that I have said to you so. To begin with, there are three elements you need to be aware of when you are meditating. You need to be aware of any kind of distractions. Now, again, that could be external distractions like sounds or events occurring around you. It could also be internal distractions such as thoughts, feelings and any kind of physical sensation. So be aware of that. Secondly, be aware of the object you’re meditating on. Do you find it hard to focus on your breath? Some people do, and that’s absolutely fine. You just need to change the object that you are meditating on. Try switching to relaxing piece of music or to a candle or to a meditation crystal. There are plenty of things that you can meditate on, so try different options. And then the third and final thing is to make some basic lifestyle changes. We’re not talking about anything drastic here. Just be gentle with yourself and consider how your lifestyle choices might be affecting your ability to focus and therefore affecting your ability to meditate. So those are three tips to make meditation easier. I hope you found this helpful. If you would like to book a meditation lesson with me, you may do so by using the link in the description.