Why is it so damn hard to sit still for so long and not think or do anything?
It’s so weird as every day so many of us crave for life to slow down and to have a moments rest. I even find at times that I go to the toilet at work to just sit and have a break for a second but then we change the scene put ourselves on a yoga mat or cross our legs and want to sit still on our meditation cushion and it becomes so bloody hard.
What is it?
Are we scared of the silence?
Are we worried about what might come up for us?
As humans we are so easily addicted to things and I think the biggest addiction that we all have is the addiction to our own mind. That chatter that goes on inside and we just can’t quieten it. If you are reading this thinking “but I don’t have chatter in my mind”…
Guess what? You sure do.
That was chatter then? It’s proven that most humans have the same thoughts over 60,000 times a day and most of these thoughts are negative and haven’t even happened yet, they are about yesterday (the past) which we can’t change and the future (tomorrow) which we are not sure we get to see yet.
For me, I am a Yoga teacher so yes I enjoy the quiet times but shit, I still find meditation hard. I have just been at a Yoga teacher training where we were asked to be silent for majority of the course and we had some long meditation sessions. Sitting and finding that stillness is really really hard work, the mind starts to think about anything but being still, dinner, my friends, family whatever it could get too.
Here’s the thing, though. Every time the mind goes wandering, it comes back home again and after time it does get easier and easier
Think about it. How do you come back to mindful awareness after a period of distraction? You don’t really know, do you? It just happens. One minute you’re on automatic pilot, lost in a daydream, with no awareness of where you really are and no ability to choose what you’re doing. You’re not even capable of deciding to be mindful again. Then the next minute you’re back in mindful awareness, knowing that you’re sitting on your meditation cushion, free to choose what you pay attention to and how you’re going to pay attention to it, free to choose to be kinder and more patient with yourself and just keep practicing because even after a week of a dedicated daily practice I have gotten better and I am looking forward to my daily mediation time.
So this week give it a go and see how you can start to bring some mindful meditation into your day, allowing the rat race to soften and really focusing on finding that stillness.
As the famous story goes:
An old Cherokee Indian chief was teaching his grandson about life.
“A fight is going on inside me,” he told the young boy,
“A fight between two wolves.
One is evil, full of anger, sorrow, regret, greed, self-pity and false pride.
The other is good, full of joy, peace, love, humility, kindness and faith.
“This same fight is going on inside of you, grandson…and inside of every other person on the face of this earth.”
The grandson ponders this for a moment and then asks, “Grandfather, which wolf will win?”
The old man smiled and simply said, “The one you feed.”
The Real question is which one do you choose to feed?