Back in school I used to hate meditation classes. It seemed so boring, with those endless hours of breathing in and out or chanting mantras. No matter how many times people tried to convince me that meditation is good for the mind and body, I could never stick to it.
But when I stumbled upon this “trick” by Alan Watts, I realized I’ve been doing it wrong all this time.
Meditation is not just about counting breaths and chanting mantras –
Usually when inexperienced minds like us start meditating, it ends up feeling like a task. It becomes too tedious a process with no peace at the end of it. Meditation should happen from within, without having to continuously focus on the various aspects of it. It shouldn’t be something you “do”, rather it should be something that “happens”.
How Alan Watts looks at meditation –
The first thing he suggests is to simply concentrate on listening. Listen to the myriad sounds around you but do not focus on them too much. Just treat the sounds as fluid music. With progress, you will realize that you are attaching significance to the sounds but that’s okay. Let that happen.
The key is to not dwell on the individual sounds and treat them as one. These sounds are beyond your control so treat them as white noise. It will come naturally to you after a while.
All this while, you have been breathing normally without paying attention to it. You did not have to count your breaths or focus on it. Try to take deeper breaths without stressing over it. Just like thoughts come to you naturally, so does breathing and noises. Apply that while doing these.
Try and become an observer. Observe the thoughts and noises that fill your mind but don’t stress on them. Acknowledge their existence and let them pass. It’s a gradual process but at the end of it you will find yourself calm and happy.
The “trick” to a better self
Alan Watts’ method of meditation has taught me not to be so hard on myself and to just be. Earlier, I used to constantly fidget and think I was doing everything wrong but that was because I was too stressed about something that should help me relax.
However now, I just let my mind and body breathe on its own without “making” them do it. If relaxation also becomes an activity then we will never be able to de-stress.
Hope this helps you attain the much-needed peace and happiness!
***Many thanks to Ideapod for the sharing the inspiration!