The most frequent feedback I hear about meditation is that “meditation is not for me, as my mind is too noisy.” I usually reply by saying that meditation is actually not for anyone. In fact, it is very rare that someone loves it from the very first instance. It is not easy to enjoy the quieting of the mind if you have never been trained to do it before. Taking pleasure in practising meditation, is an achievement that demands dedication and some persistence until you fully appreciate it. This is similar to trying to do a physical activity for the first time as an adult, such as swimming, for example. It is something you most likely will not enjoy to begin with it, as it takes time to get used to.
The question then, is why does the practice of meditation seem so natural and so necessary for our mental health?
If we understand the nature of our brain and how it is stimulated by our modern lifestyle, we realise that no one was “born” to meditate. Meditation is the silencing of your mind, allowing you to penetrate parts of your “consciousness”, that due to the noise which naturally exists in all of our minds, is something that can not be achieved easily. This is why the regular practice of meditation can reduce the noise of your mind (chitta vritti nirodha). Once this is achieved what will prevail is lucidity or superconsciousness (know in Sanskrit as ‘dhyána’).
Therefore, it is important to know how to meditate, particularly because we are encouraged from a very young age to think and constantly stimulate the cognitive part of our brain, and this continues during our school life, becoming more demanding through our adult lives. On average for at least 8 hours of every day, you have to intensively make use of specific brainwaves (beta and delta) and put the other part of your brain (alfa and gamma) where meditation happens, aside, as if you were a machine. Obviously, this generates an unbalanced life, making it easy to perceive a clear sensation of burnout and uncontrolled stress.
*It is important to note that at DeRose Meditation, in order to enhance the experience, our meditation practice is always presented and associated with many other supportive exercises, like specific breathwork and physical techniques.