Ahhh, mediation. The sometimes dreaded, sometimes feared, often completely misunderstood world of meditation.

I hear people say that meditation is emptying one’s mind, focusing on the breath only, focusing on one object, and all for up to an hour at a time. I honestly do not know anyone who can do this. Even people who have been practicing for years cannot empty their mind for an hour.

With this definition I can understand why so many people I’ve worked never even tried. It seems so daunting they gave up before they began. I don’t blame them. I have been practicing mediation for over 20 years and in all that time I have never been able to empty my mind for more than a few seconds.

The practitioners I know who have practiced and continue to practice are people who understand that thoughts occur during mediation. The trick, if there is one, is to not follow the thought. Things come and they go, all you have to do is gently bring yourself back to where you actually are. That is where the breath comes into play. Granted, it’s a little more complex than that but really that’s the gist.

If you’ve tried a meditation practice and felt you failed because you couldn’t empty your mind, see if you’d be willing to try one more time. With some simple instruction and gentle mind retrieving, thought relieving tips you could be on your way to the most relaxing, beneficial activity of your life.