When I used to think of meditation, it would scare me. I would picture sitting very uncomfortably upright for hours on end, trying to relax my fidgety body while I thought of the million other things I could be doing that would be more productive. I thrived on activity and productivity, and meditation seemed to be an experience made for the very calm, so I never learned more about it.
After reading so many articles of the health benefits of meditation, my curiosity finally got the best of me, and I went to a Buddhist Temple to just try it. I was scared to death, as I had no idea what to do, was going alone, didn’t know any customs of the Religion itself, and thought for sure I would not be able to sit still. But I gave it a shot and loved it.
We did two meditations, a twenty minute sitting one and then a shorter 10 minute sitting one. My world seemed to stop. The energy I absorbed from the room helped me keep still. They had chairs in the back for those that couldn’t sit on mats, and were welcoming and kind. My cramps came and went, I didn’t straighten my legs, and I was still alive. Again, to those of you with ADHD, you probably understand that the world seeming to stop is an experience quite profound.
I’ve since developed my own type of practice, but it was my start and I can see it would be very scary for those that have never done it. First know that it does not have to be Religion related – so many different groups are teaching meditation these days so you are sure to find one in your area. I thought I would give some suggestions for getting started and conquering that initial ‘fear’ hurdle:
- Go to the library or bookstore and browse through meditation books. What are you drawn to? What photos are inspiration? What speaks to you?
- Join a local meetup group on meditation – www.meetup.com. Meetup is fantastic as it has people of all ages and backgrounds, let’s you meetup for any kind of activity you are interested in, and provides instant connection to people through shared activities.
- Read your local paper, and look under ‘services offered’ or ‘classes offered’ to see if anyone has an intro class.
- Check with your library, junior college, rec center or hospital to see if they offer any classes (many are free!).
- Google your town and the word meditation, and see what pops up. Explore websites of places in your area that offer different types of meditations, and see what you are drawn to learn more about.
You can always start on your own, but it is a little intimidating to those that have never tried it and can be frustrating as it is more difficult to do alone when you start. I’ve found you almost take on energy of the others and it makes it so much easier to relax into the space. Personally I thought I would be worse around others, so I was extremely surprised to find out that was not the case.
To those of you who like to be productive, let me share that I am absolutely more productive when I have incorporated meditation into my day. This seems counter-intuitive. I mean, I sit still and do nothing, how can that be productive? But it is true! Doing nothing makes me get to my dreams faster!
Does anyone out there have advice for first-timers? I can’t say enough about the health benefits so I hope this inspires some to just give it a chance. Or if you have tried but didn’t like it, to give it another chance.
Share your stories and let’s get more people out there!