Tuesday, October 28, 2014


I first came across meditation about seven years ago, around the time when I began a regular yoga practise. At the time, I felt meditation was a practise so out of reach with my constantly buzzing and anxious mind. It was also something that I was fearful of because I viewed it as something that I needed to master, which I believed I could never attain.
I quickly was reminded, however, that I can’t let this judgement affect my meditation and the imminent effect it would have on the quality of my life. Meditation was going to reduce my anxiety and I was not going to let the fear I had of beginning it take that possibility away from me.
So I sat down.

I remember my first meditation so vividly—I had felt crushed by the emotions and anxiety that had surfaced. Running around during the day and checking things off my to-do list had almost made me numb to the amount of emotional clutter that I had locked up within me. I knew that this was why I had subconsciously refused to sit down to meditation—I was fearful of facing the emotions, thoughts, and energy I knew I had been avoiding. I knew they were there and I certainly would feel their anxiety day-to-day, but I did not want to face its source in fear that I’d crumble before it.
Yet, I chose to meditate more.
And by more, I don’t mean a meditation practise of an hour or half an hour. I made time and sat for the time that fit my schedule, whether it was twenty or five minutes—I sat down. What I also had initially been scared of was simply sitting there, with my self, for half an hour—how and why would I ever want to face and sit with my self for that amount of time? That’s the question that made me stop and reflect on my thinking—if I can sit with another being for that amount of time and see their beauty even when they’re deep within their pain, I realised that I needed to have that compassion for myself as well.

And this compassion begins with the only rule I have for myself in meditation: to not throw myself into the oncoming traffic of my thoughts. If you imagine the plethora of thoughts that run through your mind as cars, trying to stop thinking about them is like running towards that oncoming traffic—you’re going to get run over . . . by your thoughts . . .
It’s essentially not a pretty picture yet it comes to show how in meditation, you need to be the observer. You need to watch the oncoming traffic from a bench—recognise the cars passing by, waving flags with deadlines or how you need to go feed your cat, and let them go their own way.
This is not an easy practise. Recognising that it takes time to lessen the amount of cars passing is not only palpable but essential if you want to begin a meditation practise.
I feel that One-Minute Meditation does so many wonders for anyone on their meditation journey—at the beginning or those who have been practising meditation for years—on approaching this metaphor. A couple of months ago when I had a meditation workshop on campus—with a longer meditation and this video—many of the students commented on how this video was one of the most helpful parts in helping them approach and continue on their meditation journey. I hope it helps you as well in approaching meditation this week . . .
And in case you didn't get my ingenious title reference . . .