I hear many, many people say that they can’t meditate because their minds are too busy. But meditation isn’t the practice of not having thoughts so much as it is the practice of non-doing. It’s purposefully taking the time to stop physical activity and cultivating stillness – stilling the body and setting the intention to be fully present in what’s agreeable in life as well as what’s disagreeable.
Meditation isn’t something that you either “get” right away or you don’t get at all. It takes effort to cultivate a practice where we aren’t trying to control the outcome or get to a goal.
A lot of people are attached to their lists of things to do – always searching for the next activity – planning, doing, planning, doing.
What would happen to you if surrendered your plans and actions just for a little bit? In your meditation today, watch your thoughts. If and when you have thoughts about the past, simply say the word “past” to yourself and release the thought. If and when you have thoughts of the future (stories, planning, etc.), simply say “future” and gently bring yourself back to your present experience.
In addition to cultivating this stillness by staying in the present during meditation, also try it during the rest of your day.
P.S. Don’t forget tomorrow is “Silent Sunday”. Try to set aside at least one hour or perhaps six hours of silence. Resist the temptation to check Facebook, email, listen to music or the TV. Rest in the silence.