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...

meditation

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
gices Published 26 Dec 2013

Spirituality

What we think, we become ~ Buddha

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