If after meditation you find yourself not feeling any different from when you started, there are changes to be made. While this practice may come naturally to some, others have trouble reaping the benefits of meditation. Above all, I need you to understand that there is no "right way" to meditate. While a technique might work wonders for Vivekananda, it might prove ineffective for Rodney Yee. Some people prefer to meditate without thought and become rhythmic to the universe using chants like "om". Others prefer music or dead silence. Sometimes, I opt for theses form of meditation as well. However, I prefer to use my meditative time to work on my spirit and address things that I know I will not otherwise face. It's a sort of therapy I can feel working thorough me. After a great meditation session, I feel rejuvenated, calm and in good spirits. I am often flooded with questions about how exactly I meditate and what I think about when I do. The truth is, it depends. I admit that I do go through a personal process that works for me. While my process may not work for you, it may give you some insight on how to create your own process and meditate successfully.
Learn what relaxes you and makes you feel most comfortable and consider including it to your meditation regimen. The first thing I do, is ensure that I am in a comfortable environment with sufficient amount of space. My perfect environment may be different from yours. For instance, I need to be home. There is something about a public place that just doesn't let me access myself, or at least it makes it more difficult. Some people are perfectly fine meditating in the park and that's wonderful! What ever works for you, do it. Just be sure that your location does not include distractions and that you can remain in the same position for an extended period of time.
After finding my environment, I make it more cozy! With the lights off, I lay my lotus tapestry blanket out, burn incense and play meditation music. This is the gateway to my happy place! All these props are not necessary, but they do enhance my sessions. Again, you decide what will make your environment cozy and calming for you. Perhaps all you need is a mat? Others need meditation beads, a fan or even a disco light! Everyone is different and that is completely fine. Be creative and make it your own!
Another thing to consider is time of day. What time of day will you be able to soul search without falling asleep in the first five minutes? When can you set aside time to meditate daily? I prefer night time because I enjoy the empty abyss behind my eyelids when there is no light. I know that light tends to distract me, so I try my best to avoid meditating in brightly lit areas. I am also a night owl, so for me, falling asleep during meditation is more likely to happen in the morning than at night.
The last thing regarding comfort is to find a meditative position that works for you. Do you prefer the lotus position, lying on your back or maybe even standing up? Try out various positions and decide which one is least distracting and most effective for you.
After getting comfortable in my surroundings, I focus internally. I do the one thing that I don't do all day. Notice myself. How do I feel? Is there something worrying me? What is tugging on my mind that I've been avoiding all day? Is there something I am running from? Do I have an Issue that I need to face head on? I evaluate myself and what situations are weighing on me the most. Whatever the feeling, I pinpoint it and blank out everything else in my mind. I allow myself to feel this feeling more intensely and try to locate the source.
While I may feel more than one area of myself needing attention, I try to magnify one at a time. I have found that trying to multitask and satisfy all internal troubles can result in lesser success. Focus on one area at a time before moving on to other issues. It will allow you to address each problem more thoroughly.
With an empty mind, I try to feel this feeling more intensely and locate where it is coming from. Ask questions like: what made me feel this way? Did something happen or not happen? Maybe the emotions are rooted from something that happened five years ago or as recently as five minutes ago. What was the situation? Are your feelings justified? Explore your reasoning for feeling the way you do. Decide if your feelings are selfish, painful, genuine etc. Decide if you like how you feel. There is no specific questionnaire to follow, just search yourself and accept what you find. Let the process happen on it's own. Guide your thoughts, but try not to restrict them from the areas of the issue that they want to explore.
I want to make note that not all topics are negative. They can be positive as well. For example, you might have just met someone and your feeling the tickle of love in your spirit. You can explore these emotions too. Perhaps decide if you are clear headed or blindly falling in love. Sometimes you just have to sort your feelings out and figure out why you feel the way you do. Whether it is positive or negative all depends on you and what you have experienced.
So you've evaluated yourself, explored your mind's eye and now you must find a solution. This is the "what now" stage. What do you plan to do with these feelings? If you feel guilty, will you confess? If you feel in love, will you take the next step? If you feel lost, have you found yourself again? I try to find a way to resolve my problems or feelings. Whatever the issue (good or bad) the feelings must be addressed or they will pile up inside of you and weigh on your spirit. This stage might take longer than all of the others, and that's alright. It is important not to rush yourself during this stage. Depending on how strong the issue, you may have to revisit it over a number of sessions until you reach a solution or at the very least, closure.
Meditation doesn't have to be difficult or forced. Just relax and let your hidden feelings guide you. When you feel distracted by thoughts about dancing hot dogs on Facebook or the birds chirping outside your window, push those thoughts aside and refocus on you. What is going on in your mind that you haven't noticed lately? What is the biggest priority? How can you come to terms with it? That is the key to meditation. Focusing on your mind and the issues you have not taken the time to address. I suggest setting aside at least 30 minutes to an hour a day to clear your head and balance yourself. The more you practice, the better you will become.
My Favorite Guided Meditation (Floating Amongst The Stars)