This article first appeared in mindbodygreen.com and is written by Kamaral Bassier
It can be frustrating for new practitioners of meditation to transcend the constant stream of thoughts that invade our space. Even the thoughts of creating space are a distraction to our practice because it is after all, a thought. However, once a moment of space is created, it becomes easier to achieve and maintain.
Here are some useful practices that will help you to create and maintain space. Try these during your next practice:
1. Use thought to remove thought.
This may seem counterintuitive but the mind, like a child, needs something to do or it will begin to wander. The only thing the mind can do is to think. So think about your next thought. In other words, think to your self, I wonder what my next thought it going to be. By doing this, you shift your awareness to the space between thought, and stay there.
2. Focus on the space between breaths.
Take long, slow, deep breaths, but move your attention to the subtle space between your inhale and exhale. Without your attention, the space between breaths is virtually unnoticeable. When you shift your attention to the space between your breaths, it feels more expansive, similar to the space between two thoughts. When thoughts being to re-enter the space, simply allow them to pass and gently bring your awareness back to the space between your inhale and exhale.
3. Don’t meditate with expectations.
Meditation for one will be completely different for another. Your practice is your own and should be approached with love and openness, not anticipation and expectation. There will be days when your mind is more active and many thoughts will intrude. You may not be able to achieve the stillness you seek, but this doesn’t mean that your practice was bad. Meditation may be misguided but it is never wrong. Be compassionate to yourself and celebrate the fact that your self-discovery has led you to this wonderful, ancient practice.
Kamaral is a former athlete turned personal trainer, and now the co-owner of a 24-hour Anytime Fitness gym in Ontario, Canada.