Welcome to The Awakened Academy
Finding comfort and guidance as we look at life through a spiritual lens…
Many people say they can't meditate because their minds are too busy. But is our mind supposed to be still? And is that the point of meditation?
Our mind is a problem solving machine so it's natural that when we try and create stillness the mind sees meditation as the thing to be solved. Next thing you know it's sprinting a stream of thoughts like a newsfeed across our mind and we think we've failed.
But we haven't.
Meditation and thoughts begin with the mind so try allowing both to take place. Meditation is what we're wanting to focus on. Thoughts are what are happening around us.
Considering our thoughts are like a turbulent wind can help. If we were sitting on a mountain top trying to meditate in a gale, it would be challenging not to notice the wind.
We may wish that the wind wasn't there, and hope that it dies down to a soft breeze. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. In the meantime, we stay seated and continue to focus on the breath.
Give it a go. Next time you're sitting in meditation come with an open mind. Let the thoughts be there but just don't engage with them. Not because they're not worthy of engagement, but just like the wind, they're out of our control. What we can do however is keep bringing our attention back to the breath.
It's a challenge and takes plenty of practice. But we have the time. And each moment when we return to the breath, there we are. Fully present. What a gift! And then we can begin to marvel at how fortunate we are to have these swirling thoughts – an endless stream of opportunities to come back to a mindful state.
When we make our thoughts bad or wrong we're creating extra suffering. Judgement and criticism will take us away from our meditation. Let the thoughts be there and simply bring your awareness back to the breath, or focus on a sound, or the stillness…
Thoughts aren't the enemy. Lack of practice is. It takes time to surrender into meditation and it's not easy. Simple, yes. Easy, no.
Give yourself time to be annoyed at all the thoughts, allow your inability to focus for more than a micro second to be OK. It actually is OK…
Telling ourselves we can't meditate isn't giving ourselves enough credit. We just are't realising what meditation really is.
So next time you have the urge to meditate. Just give it a go. Let it be messy, crumbly, spiky and annoying. In time we learn to allow our meditation to take on its own path with us as the witness. We begin to understand that it isn't the soaring white eagle we thought it would be.
That's the realisation that's necessary for us to sink deeper and keep coming back. We begin to get curious at that point … Well, if it's not white light and unicorns, what is it?
Only meditation itself can answer that question. And we'll get to that … slowly, gently… kindly…
But for now. Just sit. Be as still as you can but put no pressure on yourself to make it a thought-free practice.
Just watch. And learn. Your meditation will soon become the guru you're been searching for.
If you're keen to dive into the experience of meditation in new and deeper ways then you might consider trying Meditation Bush Flower Essence.
Made with a combination of Australian Bush Flowers, this blend is nothing short of vibrational goodness. I've been using them for just over a week (7 drops under the tongue twice a day) and have had profound results.
Sleep = deeper. Dreams = more vivid. Meditation = easier.
Vibrational medicine affects each of us differently but if this speaks to you then tune into that intuition and ask yourself if this is right for you. Try this:
Hold the image or sensation of the flower essence in your mind's eye (you can do this with any medicine or food).
Be as still as possible. Quiet your mind by focusing as fully as you can on the flower essence.
Listen to your body, let it speak to you. You might get an easy yes or a no. Or you might see an image or hear words.
Allow the message to come in its own time. It might be hazy at first (especially if you're new to this). Give it time. Walk away if you need to and check in again once you get home.
If you feel yourself rushing to make the decision, let it go. That's simply a sign that now is not the time to choose.
If the answer didn't come immediately, that's OK. Check in a few times over the next 24-48 hours until you get a clear yes or no. Learn to allow the process without forcing it.
Trust is key to using our intuition. We have to learn that it might take a few attempts before we hear the answer clearly. That's OK. It doesn't mean you're failing or that you don't have an inner voice. It's more about fine tuning our senses so we can hear what's coming through.
Allow, allow, allow.
THE BEAUTY OF GRIEF
It's been pointed out that some of what we're experiencing right now is grief. We're grieving the loss of a life once known. We no longer have a sense of familiarity as each week is slightly different to the last.
Yes, we're becoming more used to it (amazing how adaptable we are!), and yes, we're finding ways to make it work. But within all of the practicalities there is a bundle of emotions that don't know where to go.
I was fortunate to experience the trauma of grief at a very early age and here's what I learned about the nature of this set of emotions.
Grief is a moving tide. It's unpredictable and can swell at any time. Unlike most other emotions, grief is a mixed bag of anger, fear, sadness and confusion. Sometimes these feelings overlap and it's difficult to know which one we're really feeling.
It's not just the tumbling of mixed emotions that gets us, but also the uncertainty of how it's going to show up that can wipe the floor from beneath our feet.
Just like the tide, when we learn to observe what stage it's at: low, high, king tide etc, we can begin to work with it.
Grief doesn't need to be controlled. It's there to serve us. It's our way of processing everything we thought we knew. Can we begin to allow it instead? Can we work with it like we do our meditation practice and be curious about what it's teaching us?
Can we simply be open to allowing grief to guide us to a new and more open version of who we are? Well, we can give it a go and see what happens.
Meditate when you can.
Let go when you can't.
Learn to trust your intuition.
Let go of needing to be right.
Allow your feelings and emotions
to guide you.
You are your greatest teacher