We sit in guided meditation in a circle, and our teacher tells us to focus on one point in the middle of our eyebrows. Our eyes gaze up, and we try to focus. Many times, we open our eyes because of some physical strain or we hear a noise… and it’s hard to go back to that focused state.
But that doesn’t mean that we fail. It only means we can do better.
It also means we should stop focusing on focusing.
That’s the problem with a lot of us these days. We focus too much and not get anything. It becomes difficult because we attach an end result to the practice of meditation. How about trying something else? Something new?
Why not just close your eyes and look at your thoughts passing by? Why not just close your eyes and not have an end goal to “feel at peace” or “find clarity”? Why not just close your eyes and stop thinking about connecting yourself to the divine?
Let’s face it, focusing is difficult to do. I mean, I’m talking about meditation a lot and even if I do so, it’s hard to not feel pins and needles 10 minutes into the practice. But a constant practice is important.
But you can’t just say “focus” and poof! Instant meditation right there.
If you want to learn how to focus, you have to forget that you’re focusing and feel your focus. Even if meditation is like mind training, the effects are more or less felt than thought of.
Ready find a more enjoyable way to meditate? Try these:
- Feel expansion. Feel something good inside you… like clarity or peace… and imagine expanding it outside your body. The problem (in my opinion) about finding such core values is that we already know we have them within us, and thus it’s better to share these out instead. Beginners can use this still as a way to meditate, but as they grow, they should know that what they are looking has been with them this entire time.
- White light. Imagine white light emerging from your third eye chakra and spreading throughout your body, and then towards your seatmate, the room, the house, etc. Feel it envelop the entire world.
- Breathe. One of my meditation teachers encourages us to practice the Hong-Sau method of breathing. Each inhale is hong, while each exhal is sau (pronounced as “saw”). You are not wishing or desiring anything. You are just breathing. Saying “hong sau” means you acknowledge that you are one with something greater… and your breath connects you to that higher being.
- Practice sitting longer…
- … Or practice walking slower. Walking meditation helps you be more mindful of your steps and keeps you aware of the present moment.
- Concentrate on something. Meditation is all about one thing: peace. Or, it could be music. It could be a sunset too. Hey, it could be your baby sleeping soundly in her crib. Direct your attention on something so beautiful that nothing will take your gaze away from it.
- Counting. 1… 2… 3… 4… pause… and exhale… 1… 2… 3… 4…
I use all of these on different occasions, and they do have different effects. Even without looking for anything, without desiring a result, I am able to get what I want. Have you tried one of these to improve your focus? Which ones do you like best? Do you have other ideas to suggest?
Let me know in the comments below.