If you are someone who finds themselves nodding off while trying to meditate and feels like meditation is an effort and not for you, you may be at the right place.
That is because Swami Purnachaitanya, a yogi and senior meditation teacher with The Art of Living, and author of Looking Inward: Meditation To Survive In A Changing World, has some very practical tips to help you power through it with ease and effortlessness.
These tips will make sure a practice like meditation, which is being done by about 500 million people world over, does not seem alien to you any more, he said.
Am I meditating or sleeping?
Sometimes we are not even sure of our experience as we begin the journey of meditation. We only relate to sleep as a form of deep rest, which is a limited understanding.
Many times when people say that they feel sleepy or dozed off during meditation, they are actually meditating properly, says Swami Purnachaitanya, The problem is that until now, most of us only associate deep rest with sleep, and therefore when we experience a state where the mind is so relaxed, and we are not so aware of our surroundings, we automatically think that we must have been sleeping or dozing off. However, if you are still aware of coming out of the meditation, or listening to any instructions in the case of a guided meditation, then know that you were not sleeping. Because if you would have been, you would not have heard those instructions either.
Here are a few things one can do to help improve experience, and go deeper.
Tip 1: Let the body be comfortable
Meditation is the art of relaxing, of letting go. And for the mind to be able to relax and settle down, first the body needs to be comfortable. So make sure that you find a comfortable place to sit, where you can keep your back straight, but which is comfortable enough for you to be able to sit for some time without having to change your posture. It is perfectly okay to sit on a chair, sofa, or some comfortable cushion you need not sit on a deerskin on the hard floor to succeed in your meditation practice! Remember, when the body is not comfortable, the mind will also have a very difficult time settling down.
Tip 2: Moving a little before settling down for meditation
For the body, and mind, to be able to settle down more easily for some time, do some exercise before you sit for your meditation. Even five minutes is good enough, and anything that will help you spend some of the extra energy and get rid of that annoying restlessness will do the trick. Whether you want to jump up and down a little, dance, go for a jog, or anything else is up to you. See the mind as a little child it will not listen to reason, and it will not sit down quietly, unless you make it run around the house a few times. Then, when tired, it will sit quietly for sometime, even without you telling it to do so!
Tip 3: Stay still!
One secret to make the mind settle down and meditate more easily is to keep the body totally still at least for some time. The body and mind are connected, and just like the body will have difficulty sitting still when the mind is very restless, it works the other way around as well. Keep your body totally still, and you will start seeing that the mind will also become calmer and calmer, settling down gradually.
Tip 4: Attend to your breath
Another secret to make the mind slow down and become calmer, is to pay attention to the breath. When you slow down your breathing, breathing more deeply and steadily, the mind will also start settling down. Practicing a few minutes of breathwork techniques or pranayama can greatly enhance ones meditation experience, as it prepares the mind by energising and settling it even before you start your meditation.
Tip 5: Watch what you eat, for a superior meditative experience
At the risk of stating the obvious, it should also be mentioned that our meals have an impact on our state of mind and thus the quality of your meditation as well. As is said in Hindi jaisa ann, waisa mann, which could be translated loosely as the food you eat determines your state of mind. If you have a lot of fried, oily, sugary foods, the mind will naturally be more restless and agitated, or dull. Having more healthy, easily digestible food will lead to a more calm, peaceful and clear state of mind. And it helps to meditate when your stomach is a little empty, or your last meal is digested mostly. After you eat something, your metabolism goes up to digest the food, but during meditation, your metabolism goes down, as your whole system enters a state of deep rest and relaxation. Knowing this much would make it clear why both are quite opposite in nature, and do not go together that well. Of course, this does not mean that some people cannot meditate after a big meal, but here we would like to make it easier for people, rather than making it more difficult by quoting some exceptions. Let us take the easier path.
Tip 6: This is how you can deal with too many thoughts
A common misunderstanding about meditation is that you cannot, or should not, have any thoughts during meditation. A regular and proper meditation practice will no doubt reduce the number and intensity of thoughts that you get, even throughout the day, and result in more positive and pleasant thoughts, but this is more like a side-effect or natural result of meditation. Having a lot of thoughts does not necessarily mean that you are not meditating, or that you are not progressing. When the body and mind settle and experience deep rest, it is natural for the nervous system to unburden itself, and let go of stresses and strains that it has accumulated. These may be released on the physical level in the form of some sensations, pain, or stiffness, or on the mental level as random thoughts. In this case, therefore, having these thoughts come and go on their own is actually a sign that you are meditating properly.
However, when the thoughts coming up are not allowing you to settle down, or they are about some things that you still need to do, or upset about, or anxious about, then they may not allow you to meditate properly. If this happens regularly you can pay some attention to your diet (having some lighter, fresh food, and less spices, fried, oily and heavy items), and your exercise routine. Just doing a few minutes of exercise before you sit for your meditation may already help you to spend some of that pent-up extra energy or restlessness, that we call Rajas or Rajoguna.
Continue reading here:
How to avoid falling asleep during meditation - The Indian Express
- GitHub - deepmind/deepmind-research: This repository ... - October 22nd, 2021
- Why DeepMind Acquired This Robotics Startup - Analytics India Magazine - October 22nd, 2021
- Deeper Is Not Necessarily Better: Princeton U & Intel's 12-Layer Parallel Networks Achieve Performance Competitive With SOTA Deep Networks -... - October 22nd, 2021
- How AI is reinventing what computers are - MIT Technology Review - October 22nd, 2021
- Incorporating This Into Your Daily Routine Can Bolster Your Brain Health & Mood - mindbodygreen.com - October 22nd, 2021
- The Ideal Color To Surround Yourself With Right Now, According To Astrologers - mindbodygreen.com - October 22nd, 2021
- A.I. Predicts the Shapes of Molecules to Come - The New ... - October 20th, 2021
- These weird virtual creatures evolve their bodies to solve problems - MIT Technology Review - October 20th, 2021
- As Great Resignation Draws On, Smaller Teams and Larger Workloads, Concerns Over Retention Top of Mind for Leaders - Business Wire - October 20th, 2021
- Global Mindfulness Meditation Apps Market 2021 Industry Insights and Major Players are Deep Relax, Smiling Mind, Inner Explorer, Inc. Radford... - October 15th, 2021
- Google Proposes ARDMs: Efficient Autoregressive Models That Learn to Generate in any Order - Synced - October 15th, 2021
- Here's what's big for AI this year, according to the annual State of AI report - Morning Brew - October 15th, 2021
- Google DeepMind AI: Heres how it can bring a revolution in weather forecasting - Yahoo Singapore News - October 12th, 2021
- Now AI Tells You If It Will Pour In The Next Two Hours - Analytics India Magazine - October 12th, 2021
- Global Blockchain Technology in Healthcare Market (2021 to 2026) - Featuring Accenture, Capgemini and DeepMind Health Among Others -... - October 12th, 2021
- 10 Most Popular Google AI Projects that Everyone Should Know - Analytics Insight - October 12th, 2021
- How this company is using data-driven drug discovery to fight disease - The Globe and Mail - October 12th, 2021
- DeepMind tells Google it has no idea how to make AI less toxic - The Next Web - September 23rd, 2021
- There are some important things to keep in mind for first time home buyers - KTBS - September 23rd, 2021
- Easy exploring: The best things to do in Deep Cove | Curated - Daily Hive - September 23rd, 2021
- The Secrets of The Worlds Greatest Freediver - GQ Magazine - September 23rd, 2021
- How to find peace of mind during the COVID-19 pandemic's delta surge | Opinion - Tennessean - September 23rd, 2021
- WONDERFUL THINGS: Perfect peace in a troubled world from Jesus - Destin Log - September 23rd, 2021
- The Best Social Media Reactions and Memes at the 2021 Met Gala - Yahoo Lifestyle - September 15th, 2021
- Researchers lay the groundwork for an AI hive mind - The Next Web - September 15th, 2021
- Infinite Memory Transformer: Attending to Arbitrarily Long Contexts Without Increasing Computation Burden - Synced - September 15th, 2021
- It takes a village: how Asics got a small town to lace up and raise money for Mind UK - The Drum - September 15th, 2021
- EY study deep dives into financial protection gap - Insurance Business - September 15th, 2021
- Peptone: Putting molecular physics at the heart of UK's next billion-pound pharma company - Yahoo Money - September 15th, 2021
- Vigil episode four recap Silva and the crew are in deep water - The Guardian - September 13th, 2021
- How to cultivate a 'big mind' to deal with everyday stresses | HeraldNet.com - The Daily Herald - September 13th, 2021
- THE BOOK NOOK: Deep behind the scenes of 9/11 - Niagara Gazette - September 13th, 2021
- How 7 years of dirt is deep cleaned from mattresses - Insider - September 13th, 2021
- A therapy called rhythm that creates impact on the body and the mind - Onmanorama - September 13th, 2021
- Bidens abortion clash with the Catholic Church - POLITICO - September 13th, 2021
- God's mysterious riches, wisdom, and knowledge - Leawood - Church of the Resurrection - September 13th, 2021
- Google pulls the plug on DeepMind-developed health app Streams - Business Insider - September 1st, 2021
- Where the mind is without fear - The Times of India Blog - September 1st, 2021
- Global Cognitive Computing in Retail Market, By Component, By Technology, By Deployment, By Application, By Region, Competition Forecast &... - September 1st, 2021
- U.S. households and small businesses have stockpiled a mind-blowing record cash pile of almost $17 trillion - MarketWatch - August 26th, 2021
- What would it be like to be a conscious AI? We might never know. - MIT Technology Review - August 26th, 2021
- Google Health Disbanded; Staff Sent To Other Divisions - Silicon UK - August 26th, 2021
- Zen and the art of fly-fishing in Sweden a photo essay - The Guardian - August 26th, 2021
- 7 Ways to Stop Racing Thoughts at Night and Get to Sleep - Livestrong - August 26th, 2021
- Possumhaw: Out of sight, out of mind - The Dispatch - The Commercial Dispatch - August 24th, 2021
- UK aims to boost solar by predicting cloud movements with A.I. - CNBC - August 24th, 2021
- This Special Nature Writing Ritual Will Connect You To Your Divine Feminine - mindbodygreen.com - August 24th, 2021
- Shipwrecked: A Shocking Tale of Love, Loss, and Survival in the Deep Blue Sea - Boston magazine - August 24th, 2021
- AllDay notes after deeper reading of the prospectus - Philstar.com - August 24th, 2021
- UCSD & Microsoft Improve Image Recognition With Extremely Low FLOPs - Synced - August 24th, 2021
- Are These the Hidden Deepfakes in the Anthony Bourdain Movie? - WIRED - August 24th, 2021
- Scientists report new findings on the role that fish play in balancing coral, algae on reefs - ASU Now - August 24th, 2021
- Accurate prediction of protein structures and interactions using a three-track neural network - Science Magazine - August 22nd, 2021
- The Wonders That Live at the Very Bottom of the Sea - The New York Times - August 22nd, 2021
- Tamo J is 'digging up deep-rooted issues' in therapy - Jamaica Gleaner - August 22nd, 2021
- How to use 'progressive muscle relaxation' to calms stress and ease anxiety - GLAMOUR UK - August 22nd, 2021
- Review: 'Sister Sorry' plunges deep into a shadowy abyss of the psyche. But are its characters worth caring about? - Berkshire Eagle - August 22nd, 2021
- Always on your mind - The New Indian Express - August 22nd, 2021
- This Former Pastor Is Changing Evangelicals' Minds on COVID Vaccines Mother Jones - Mother Jones - August 22nd, 2021
- How DeepMind's John Jumper unlocked the 3D secret to proteins - Fast Company - August 14th, 2021
- A New Review of Dozens of Studies Found These Are the 8 Most Effective Ways to Stop Worrying and Calm Your Mind - Inc. - August 14th, 2021
- Four Policies that Government Can Pursue to Advance Trustworthy AI - uschamber.com - August 14th, 2021
- England vs India 2nd Test, Day 3 as it happened: Roots marathon ton guides hosts to 27-run lead - Scroll.in - August 14th, 2021
- Deshbhakti Curriculum to be implemented in Delhi Govt schools. Here is what it will cover - Mint - August 14th, 2021
- Trouble at Google's DeepMind and tech workers not going back to the office - Business Insider - August 8th, 2021
- Embodied AI, superintelligence and the master algorithm - TechCrunch - August 8th, 2021
- Alserkal is serving up isolation tanks and other mind altering activities this month - Time Out Dubai - August 8th, 2021
- Tshola had a generous heart and mind - IOL - August 8th, 2021
- Keeping the faith: Remembering gratitude can help us extend love to others, transform world - The Columbus Dispatch - August 8th, 2021
- AI use cases are expanding and evolving in healthcare - Tech Wire Asia - August 1st, 2021
- DeepMind releases massive database of 3D protein structures - STAT - STAT - July 25th, 2021
- DeepMinds AI uncovers structure of 98.5 per cent of human proteins - News Nation USA - July 25th, 2021
- Good Morning, News: $600000 Settlement for 2017 PPB Killing, Deep Pockets Try Influencing MultCo DA, and Everything is GREAT at the Olympics! - The... - July 25th, 2021
- DeepMind open-sources AlphaFold 2 for protein structure predictions - VentureBeat - July 21st, 2021
- DeepMind's AlphaFold 2 reveal: Convolutions are out, attention is in - ZDNet - July 21st, 2021
- AI in Healthcare Market Growing Trade Among Emerging Economies Opening New Opportunities (2021-2031) | Nuance Communications, Inc., DeepMind... - July 21st, 2021
- Self-driving data centres: Managing the transition from human-to-AI workload management - IT Brief Australia - July 21st, 2021
- The scene is set | Royal St George's | The 149th Open - The Open - July 14th, 2021
- Tech Companies Leading the Cognitive Computing Race in 2021 - Analytics Insight - July 14th, 2021
- Science fiction: From hero's tales to deep thoughts - The Daily Advance - July 14th, 2021