Meditation Tips

Meditation Tips

Have you ever recognised the similarities between your mind and a 3 year old child?

Each week as I teach my children's yoga class I marvel at the way my mind is mirrored back to me by the children as they are not able to think in their heads at this age and everything is expressed out loud.  So as I begin to teach they are distracted left, right and centre.  A typical class goes something like this -

"Look at that pretty butterfly on the wall.  I can be a butterfly, look at me being a butterfly.  We love butter at home, I have it on my toast, it's nice for my breakfast, I don't like bananas though. They are funny when they have brown bits on them, and sometimes they make me teeth feel funny. Can I have my apple now?"  You get the picture, the constant stream of consciousness that we experience in our own minds is available to observe clearly in any three year old!

When I meditate I literally have to have a conversation with my mind.  There is the 3 year old child part of my mind that finds it impossible to settle, to stop thinking and to meditate and then there is the adult part of my mind that wants to meditate, be calm, quiet and still.  The conversation between the two goes something like this -

Adult - Okay we are going to meditate now, so please be quiet for the next 20 minutes and then you can think whatever you like afterwards.

Child - Okay, I'll be quiet.  But hang on, can I just think about what I want for tea, I'll be really quick, erm shall we have risotto, or pasta or.....I know omelette, we'll have omelette.

Adult - Right are you ready now?

Child - Yes, ready, quiet, shhhhh, look at how quiet I am being....

Adult - Shhhhh.


10 seconds later.....

Child - Is my back straight?  I don't think my back is straight, hang on a minute, I just need to straighten up, push my shoulders back, shoulder blades flat against my back. Okay, sorry, ready now.  Nice and quiet.

Adult - Good, nice and quiet.


10 seconds later....

Child - What is that noise? Is it those kids from downstairs? God they make so much noise, don't they know I am meditating, shhhhh kids.

Adult - Be quiet, just ignore them.

Child - I can't they are so loud. So annoying. And now I'm not being nice, I should be nicer, I'm sorry kids for being mean about you, I mean you are only playing, they are only playing.

Adult - Stop it. Be quiet.

Child - Yes, right, quiet.


10 seconds later....

Child - Do you remember that place where we used to go on holiday, what was it called now? Studland Bay, you remember, the lovely holidays we had there, wasn't it great being small, oooh we had such fun, playing on the pirate ship, and on the beach, and do you remember that shop there with all those cool clothes, and Dad bought that really cool tie dye top...

Adult - Stop it, stop it, be quiet now, that's enough.

Child - Oh yes, sorry, meditating, Om Sri Hanumate Namah, Om Sri Hanumate I saying it right?  Is that right?

Adult - Yes shush.


10 seconds later.....

Child - Did you see that?  I think I am doing it, I'm, I'm doing it, I can't wait to tell everyone, I can do it, I can tell everyone on Twitter and Facebook and..

Adult - ………….


You get the idea!  This technique really helps me to become more aware of how my mind jumps all over the place, and when I am aware of it I can begin to control it more easily.  Our minds are like children, they need discipline and they need to be told what to do, this takes time and practice but it does work.  Why not have a go, see if you can distinguish between your lower childlike mind and your adult higher mind and see if this helps when meditating.  And don't take yourself too seriously, our minds can be hilarious, just like 3 year old children!

It has been 2 days and I haven't taught a class yet

Yoga Poses - Warrior II