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The Challenges of Meditating for the First Time

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I've been fascinated with spirituality since my teens but I only started getting deeper into it in my late twenties. You cannot embrace spirituality without meditation and my first time meditating was not perfect...


I believe you can meditate anywhere you want, be it in your room or in a crowded place. I also think there's no specific pose you need to adopt, you just need to be in a position where you're comfortable. That is all very true but for beginners, this may not be ideal. Meditation helps to control the mind but an untrained mind is like a wild horse which doesn't want the rider to discipline it. Therefore you need to be in the best environment to relax your mind.

You're essentially looking for a place which is quiet and by quiet I mean somewhere away from artificial noise like cars' engine, TV and music or any other distractions. This will help calm the mind better. Many people choose a place in nature (sitting under a tree) for that very reason.

Next the meditating position is important because you may be in this pose for a long time. If you were to stand, your legs would get tired and that's going to break your meditation. That's why you see monks in a sitting position with their legs crossed and arms over their thighs.

My first attempt at meditation

When I tried meditating for the first time, as soon as I closed my eyes, randoms thoughts were coming to my mind. I wanted my mind to be blank and not have any thoughts whatsoever, maybe just seeing darkness (black) but not actually thinking of anything. However that was not possible. The more I tried not to think, the more I thought about things. First I thought about things on my TODO list, then what I had done for the day and what I was going to do afterwards. Then I started thinking what I'm doing, how I'm meditating, then about space and the universe, then I tried focusing my mind on seeing black and stop myself from having thoughts.

It was an inner battle I was fighting. My mind would not allow me to sit idle. It doesn't want me to stop thinking, as if thoughts are the heartbeats to it. I wasn't able to be blank for even 10 seconds. I persevered, I had to regain control of myself but it took time. It may have been 30 minutes afterwards that I was able to focus my mind, that I started to suddenly feel lighter and saw the universe with tiny dots of light like stars and I felt a sensation of floating. I felt my soul actually leaving my body, flying away.

It was a beautiful experience. You feel so at peace with yourself. There's no frustration, there's no pain, there's no desire, it's just absolute serenity. But that wasn't long lasting because I got freaked out when I realise my soul was actually leaving my body and the thought of never being able to return to the body scared me. And everything then vanished. It was like I landed abruptly in my sitting position and when I opened my eyes and saw the familiar surrounding of my room, it re-comforted me that I've been able to come back.

However, I wanted to feel that inner peace again and I tried meditating a couple more times but didn't manage to attain it. This was only due to the fact I was focusing on what I experienced before and wanted to recreate that feeling. I wasn't letting go of myself, I was trying to control my emotions.

The only way to meditate properly is to let you of everything and go with the flow...

gices Published 26 Dec 2013