How was your first meditation experience?
For mine, I remembered going to a lovely room; the atmosphere was calm and peaceful.
Then the teacher said to sit down on the floor, close your eyes and try not to think to keep your mind blank.
From the first few minutes, my mind was crazy. More thoughts were coming. I couldn't stop my thoughts. After an hour, the class ended. I was waiting for the benefits I heard from meditation: peaceful mind, serenity, clear mind and more.
So I went to a couple of more sessions, keeping silent and trying not to think. After a few weeks, I gave up even though I was so interested. I couldn't stop thinking. I was feeling desperate, completely opposite of what meditation suppose to be.
At some point in my life, I thought that meditation wasn't for me and I would have this crazy busy mind forever.
Then after years of researching different ways to meditate, things started to be clearer. To achieve the meditative state, it is essential to pass through the process of acknowledging your thoughts, emotions, and memories. Be aware of where they are coming from and how to direct them. And eventually, we can reach that state where there are no more thoughts.
It's like learning to read; the teacher cannot give you in your first class a novel because it will seem unsurmountable. First, we need to learn the letters, the words and their pronunciation, then start with small sentences and finally be able to read entire books. The same is with meditation, step by step.
So I started to meditate, having an internal conversation with myself and exploring what was in my mind. "Learning the letters and words and putting them together". Then I started to experience the mediation's benefits.
I didn't start pushing myself to do it for hours just as long as it felt comfortable.
I want to share a practical exercise that helped me experiment and understand the state of meditation.
Some days my mind is too busy, still having those 5, 10 or 15 min with myself allows me to find balance and maintain my concentration on the thoughts and emotions that allow me to build up my willpower and maintain calm.
There is a lot of talk about the magic powers of meditation. I'm not yet at that point. What I can say is I found mental balance, I healed from past experiences, and I can control more that little devil on my shoulder :)