– I can’t meditate
– I can’t turn off my brain
– I can’t stop worrying
– I can’t stop thinking
Here’s the simple truth: Your brain – your human brain – was designed to do something no other animal on earth can do: Think!
Yes, some animals are clever and they do some rudimentary thinking, but it’s nothing like complicated human thinking. We can, and naturally do, think about things in a complicated way. Here’s what I mean.
When humans consider any topic, we tend to consider things from our past and speculate about our future. Then we consider a number of possible outcomes, and the effects of the past on each of those. And then we speculate possible futures of each. Very often, we also consider how this thing affects other possible outcomes for other totally-unrelated decisions we are considering.
It’s amazing how quickly our brain can go through that complicated process. Sometimes we’re overwhelmed because we can’t help trying to think all those thoughts at the same time.
So here’s the deal with meditating: It’s not your goal to stop thinking. It’s not you goal to have an “empty” mind. The goal is simply to slow down a bit, become aware of the thoughts and ideas, to relax and observe.
Think about it like this: Your brain is no different than anyone else. People who meditate have simply practiced sitting in one spot and slowing down a bit. They’ve practiced watching their thoughts without judgement. And you can too!
People who run marathons do not have a different kind of feet. They’re just people who got up one day and decided to jog around the block. Then two blocks, ten blocks, 10K, a half marathon, and a full marathon. I might say that I can’t run a marathon, or that I’ll never run a marathon. But the truth is that I could some day if I decided to start by jogging around the block.
Don’t set your goal to stop your brain from thinking or to meditate for an hour.
But set your goal to meditate for thirty seconds, and then a minute. Eventually You will meditate for three minutes, then five and ten.
Most people who meditate don’t meditate for long periods of time. But you’d be amazed how five minutes a day can change your life.
Stop. Unplug. Close your eyes. And watch what your brain does. It’s a great resource.