The style of meditation we are most familiar with was developed by monks who were able to sit for hours at a time without being interrupted. Sitting cross legged, with their backs straight. Meditating for hours and hours without interruption.
They were never interrupted by their children and pets wanting attention, or by their phone alerts warning them of their next meeting. They didn’t have the kind of jobs we have now. They didn’t have jam packed schedules, work deadlines, families needing to be fed, meals to be prepared, or busy houses to clean.
Monks had controlled environments. They had intentions of spending hours and hours meditating. That was their job.
We in the real world have families, jobs, schedules and more than enough stimulation to make that type of meditation challenging. Sometimes it’s so challenging that we give up. Judging ourselves for having “failed” at meditation.
We didn’t fail at meditation, that style of meditation failed us.
That process of meditating, quieting our minds and sitting cross legged for hours, wasn’t made for the modern world. It was made for monks. The good news is that there are other styles of meditation that do suit the modern world.
For the past couple of months, I’ve been taking meditation teacher training in a style called, instinctive meditation. This style allows the mind to be noisy, our bodies to rest in anyway or to move, and our imagination and intuition to guide us.
Instinctive meditation allows for our minds to wander without bringing them back to silence over and over. All thoughts are allowed, just let them be. Allow our thoughts to come and go like clouds in the sky. Eventually the thoughts will calm.
Instinctive meditation allows for our bodies to rest how they want to. We can sit cross-legged if our knees allow. We can lounge in a chair if that’s more comfortable or sit upright. We can even lay down. Whatever position allows us to relax, whatever serves our body.
As we start a meditation, our minds seem to be in constant thought. We may review the events of the day or plan the rest of our day. We can even receive creative thoughts. Let the thoughts flow. Allow the thoughts and they will calm eventually, instinctively.
Likewise, with our body. It may take a few minutes for our energy to settle. We may want to wiggle or adjust, allow it. It will calm in time. And if it doesn’t calm, use the movement as a meditation. Sway, rock, or dance. Whatever your body wants to do can become a meditation.
When we allow the meditation experience to be what it is, to flow, our thoughts and experience settles and becomes a relaxing experience.
Instinctive meditation allows for whatever our experience is, quiet or noisy, short or long, still or moving. This is part of what instinctive meditation is, allowing it to be what it is.
Now, do you think you can try meditating again? Are you ready to meditate instinctively? Are you ready to try instinctive meditation?
Try it for yourself and stay tuned for future offerings!