How to get espresso results with meditation
We live in the expresso era! Wheatear is a fitness programme, a language course, business, or meditation, people are growing accustomed to get fast results. If on the one hand, high expectations and demands contribute to efficiency and performance, on the other they lead to anxiety and neurosis.
Meditation has now become a popular and common practice in the West. However, it is approached with the same “espresso mindset”. You may have noticed meditation programmes promising to give you “40 years of Zen” in just few hours. These programmes actually claim that you can shortcut years of meditation. The idea is that due to the modern superior understanding of the neurochemical brain mechanism which recent studies have discovered, it is possible to replicate what spiritual seekers have been doing for thousands of years. Do you really believe that? Do you think a Buddha or a Dalai Lama will ever come out of such programmes?
To me, this is a good example of the western hubris. Or more simply it shows the deceitful marketing selling machine in action: how to sell meditation if it takes 40 years to get results? And no guarantee or money back.
If you practise meditation, you know it works, regardless of what neuroscientists say. And you do not have to wait 40 years to enjoy the benefits. But you also know that meditation is not the quick fix sold in the media by so-called “meditation experts”. Meditation works when it becomes a lifestyle, when it is ingrained in your daily routine. The key to progress is consistency, which leads to long-term results. Think about it for a moment: how can you expect to master your mind in few hours, if your whole life you have been lost in your thoughts. To be aware and present, or to practise mindfulness (a buzz word nowadays), is not so simple as it sounds. In fact, it is simple; but because we are not taught to be aware of our mind’s mechanism, it takes effort and commitment to reverse the tendency to be unconscious.
Yes, we all wish to have fast results, but we all know that we need to put energy and effort to obtain any goal. If meditation is your goal, then be aware that to see changes you need to work for it. And remember: there is no end point; meditation is a lifestyle change, it is a continued process of growing awareness and bringing light over the darkness of the unconscious.
If you are interested in making meditation an integral part of your daily life, then I highly recommend you to set apart time for your meditation practice in the morning. Of course it depends on your work commitment, preferences, chronotype, etc. However, the best advice I can possibly give you is to meditate early in the morning. It is easier to be consistent with a morning routine. If you leave it for later in the day, chances are you accumulate stress and by the end of the day you feel tired, which makes it harder to stick to your meditation practice.
Once you become consistent, you will start seeing results. And results give you motivation to keep going. You see the value of what you are doing and enjoy the reward of your practice. You initiate a positive and virtuous cycle, which is self-reinforcing.
Meditation is free, it can be done anywhere and anytime. However, meditating with a group of like-minded people can be very useful, especially at the beginning. So just start and keep it going and if you need inspiration, do join one of our classes.