Often when I mention the idea of mindfulness meditation, of consciously sitting with ourselves and observing our own inner world, the usual response I receive is along the lines of: “I like that idea but I can’t do that, I can’t quiet my mind.”
It is perfectly normal if when you sit to meditate you find that your mind is chattering. Meditation gives us the opportunity to observe our thoughts and begin to train our minds to focus- using the breath as an anchoring point of the present moment.
Each time you notice your mind is lost in a thought and bring yourself back to your breath even for a moment, that’s creating space within for increase peace and well-being. Each time we bring ourselves back to our breath with an attitude of loving kindness and allow ourselves to start fresh and begin again.
Mindfulness meditation is the stepping stone to all meditation because it helps us create space in our lives so that we can focus and acknowledge what is happening within. It is the simple yet profound act of training our minds to focus one single, present moment, which is often the breath. Watching and observing the breath moving in and out of our bodies.
The challenge is that our untrained minds are like monkeys, they are active and like to swing from limb to limb, or from thought to thought. By consciously setting time to sit throughout this jumble and noticing when our minds are thinking about the past or the future, or anything really, and bringing our minds back to our breath, is powerful.
There are immediate benefits to practicing mindfulness, often times we create enough space to be able to see the beauty of the world around us. Or some clarity of a problem we had been mulling around in our minds seem to be answered out of seemingly nowhere.
Stick with it long enough though, you start creating space for a more even, consistent awareness. And that space offers gifts of clarity, peace, and compassion.