As someone who has meditated almost daily for three years, there are some misconceptions I’m continually confronted with. So many people believe they uniquely can’t meditate because their mind spins too much when they try to stop thinking.
Tibetan Buddhist master Mingyur Rinpoche wants to put this misconception to rest in the video below:
You are able to meditate anytime, anywhere. The key is to simply focus on what’s happening inside your head. Instead of blocking the thoughts and emotions that arise when you meditate, instead lean into what Rinpoche calls your “monkey mind”. This is the constant chattering inside your head.
The best way to lean into your monkey mind is to simply be aware of your breath. “As long as you don’t forget your breath, anything is okay,” Rinpoche said. “[You don’t] need too much concentration. Just simply be aware of your breath.”
This was the advice offered to me when I was told how to meditate. It’s important not to judge yourself or the thoughts that arise. Instead, just observe them and stick with the breathing, or mantra, or whatever you’re using to meditate.
As spiritual master Osho explains in the below quote, the technique described above are great tools that will eventually train your mind to be in the moment more often as time goes on. Osho puts it brilliantly:
“Meditation is a quality of being that you bring to the act. It is not a particular act, it is not that you do this then it is meditation – that you sit in a certain posture, siddhasana, and you keep your spine erect, and you keep your eyes closed or you look at the tip of your nose or you watch your breath, then it is meditation – no, these are just devices for the beginners…
“Do you know that the words meditation and medicine come from the same root? Meditation is a kind of medicine; its use is only for the time being. Once you have learned the quality, then you need not do any particular meditation, then the meditation has to spread all over your life. Only when you are meditative twenty-four hours a day then can you attain, then you have attained. Even sleeping is meditation.”