“Empty your mind and let all your thoughts go….”
Ok. Yep. Emptying the mind. There they go… all my thoughts… out of my mind. Got it.
“Switch off and think of nothing…”
Okey dokey. Switching OFF the mind. No thoughts here. Not-a-one. All is calm. All is bright. Haha isn’t that a song…? what was it again…. some kind of Christmas carol… Oh god Christmas.. so soon and no shopping yet…hmmmm what do I get mum?? Oh jeez… now I’m thinking. Switch off, switch off…. Hang on.. I’m thinking about switching off.. is that a thought?? Is my thought about a thought a THOUGHT???? DAMMIT.
If this sounds familiar believe me, you are not alone. Most people are under the misconception that you need to empty your mind and think of nothing to successfully meditate. This is simply not true. It’s virtually impossible to really empty your mind. You will always be thinking of something. The concept is to try and calm the mind, acknowledge your thoughts and consciously let them go. As my mediation teacher, Matt Ringrose so eloquently puts it, “…think of meditation as a party where everyone is invited. Those that feel unwelcome will soon leave.”
The idea of meditation has always slightly terrified me for the sole reason that I’ve never been very good at sitting still. The thought of having to stay motionless with nothing but my own “empty mind” for upwards of 20 minutes every day very quickly gives me a nervous twitch. But I was at a crossroads in my life and in need of a different perspective, so earlier this year I attended a Vedic Mediation Course at Bondi Meditation Centre.
If images of a “little bald man dressed in orange robes sitting in lotus position levitating” immediately spring to mind then you will be sorely disappointed. The centre’s founder, Matt Ringrose, is an UK-born/Bondi-bound, ex-corporate, music-loving DJ who demystifies and modernises meditation for people like me and you. The course runs over four consecutive days, 90-minutes each day. By the end of the course you will be an expert meditator, totally self-sufficient and able to meditate successfully anywhere at any time.
To be honest, I’m certainly still no expert. I miss whole days entirely. Some days I feel like I literally just sit there for 20 minutes thinking about twiddling my thumbs. But as Matt says.. “There is no such thing as a good or a bad meditation. ALL meditation is good. Some is just busier than others…”
What it has done is made me aware of the role my thoughts play in my life. That they are just that. Thoughts. Manufactured pieces of fluff, usually created by your ego, there to create chaos and unrest in your mind. If you are feeling overwhelmed, or that life is giving you lemons, take 3 deep breaths and ask yourself this one question.. “At this very moment, am I, and everything around me OK??” More often than not you will find the answer is YES. And bringing yourself back to the present is sometimes all you need…. oooh presents… speaking of presents… where was I??... oh yes...Christmas shopping…..
If you want to find out more about Vedic Meditation Courses, contact Matt Ringrose at Bondi Meditation Centre or +61 433 140 466