Meditation: Thinking About Not Thinking? Impossible
It would be impossible to predict all of the possible stress points in your future. Such a prediction in itself would be debilitating and exhausting to think about. But the very nature of meditation prohibits that approach. Instead, leave your mind, and your life, open to possibilities for resolution and joy.
If the prospect of your marriage becomes filled with shadows, which is a common enough occurrence for even the most optimistic of us from time to time, then call upon the principles of meditation to cast some light into the crevices of your doubts and worries. Meditation isn’t meant to remove you from your life, but rather to allow you to step back long enough to gain perspective.
On the website, The Art of Living, there is an article with tips for beginners. Here are a few relevant ones for the newly married:
- Do some pre-meditation warm-up exercises. Keep it light, just walk around the building, or do some stretching. This will help with circulation, and make you more comfortable as you sit in one place and position for awhile.
- Choose a time for meditation that is a fit for your lifestyle. You need a time when you can be reliably alone, and quiet. Could you share your meditation time with your husband? This is no time for romantic expectations, so that is definitely not a requirement, and could be counter-productive in this circumstance. Just after he leaves for work, or right after you get home from work are both good times to take a break from routine thoughts. Natural transitions such as dawn or dusk might work well.
- The point is to remove yourself from identifying with your thoughts, but don’t force the issue, or you will find it impossible to do. Instead of banning thoughts from your mind, observe your thoughts around you, and watch them dissipate. If you “fail” to achieve an empty mind, don’t judge yourself as a failure, but rather as an observer of a process. Your thoughts haven’t left yet. Be confident that they will. Smile.
- Maintaining a small smile will help you attain a peaceful mind.
- Instead of closing your eyes, almost close them as you look at a simple shape, and then let them close gradually. Open eyes leave you vulnerable to exciting visual images.
- Learn to breathe slowly and naturally so that your body becomes calm.
- Use a timer so that you aren’t thinking about time.
- Find a comfortable sitting position. If you lie down, you will probably go to sleep. If you stand or walk, your mind will remain active because of muscle use.
- Stay warm. A still body can be colder than is comfortable, so dress adequately.
- Establish a time and place for consistency so that you can develop a habit.
- Avoid meditating on a full stomach; also avoid being very hungry.
- Learn about meditation techniques that are consistent with your culture. Meditation groups that are like-minded can be a wonderful resource.
Meditation can bring the necessary distance for good stress resolution.