“The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.” – Stephen McCranie
Throughout my life, I have attempted and “failed” at meditation. Beginning in high school, I tried many times (or at least for a teenager, it seemed endless times) to still my mind in meditation. I gave up, more frustrated than when I began.
Then in college, I was introduced to a technique called progressive muscle relaxation. I found that when my mind was tense that my body followed suit. Progressive Muscle Relaxation can be a great way to calm the body while focusing the mind. By giving the mind a task, once can more easily begin the journey within. We spend so much time on external stimuli, that getting in touch with how our bodies feel can be a meditation on its own.
Even with a task to perform, know that the mind will most likely continue its chatter, which may distract you. Just keep redirecting yourself back to the audio instructions. Recognize that thinking is the mind’s job. Just as the lungs exchange air and the heart pumps blood, the mind’s job is to think.
This is a guided progressive muscle relaxation that I tell the vast majority of my patients about. It is hosted by The Cleveland Clinic. I hope you find it helpful in your journey within. If you do not like the narrator or the instructions, for any reason, I am sure you can do a Google search and find many other options (hint, hint). Just as we test drive several cars before deciding which one to buy, meditation can take several test drives before we find the right vehicle.
The beginning of understanding is knowledge.
Mastery is earned through understanding.
Between the two, there is much practice.
Photo by dan at freedigitalphotos.net