Meditation: A Tool For Happiness or An Exercise in Frustration?

Dr. Purushothaman
January 23, 2014


3 Great Tips to Turn Your Meditation into a Rewarding Experience!

When I first started meditating several years ago, it was anything but fulfilling! I would make time in my calendar, sit down and try to meditate. I would get uncomfortable trying to hold the same still position, my mind would be full of thoughts and chatter, and I would feel frustrated and unfulfilled when it was over. Can you relate to that? Meditation certainly didn't live up to its reputation of a centering, peaceful, rejuvenating experience. I was ready to throw in the towel!
Fortunately, I didn't! I kept exploring meditation and my relationship with it through workshops, and even multiple-day silent retreats. Over time, my investment paid off. I found various tools that have worked for me, and my experience of meditation has been richly rewarding ever since. In fact, meditation has become my favorite means of staying centered and feeling that I am in the flow. It has become the foundation of my daily spiritual practice and something that greatly feeds my soul and state of happiness. Hallelujah!
I'd like to help you create a similar relationship with and fulfilling practice of meditation.
Tip #1
Let go of pre-conceived notions of what meditation is and isn't. If, like me, you have these ideas about how you do meditation and what is supposed to happen when you meditate, you may be holding yourself back. Yes, there are techniques and some of them have specific postures and durations associated with them. But its not necessary to start with those forms of meditation. You can simply start by taking a break in a busy day, closing your eyes, and following your breath. For me, that was a great start. I let go of the things-to-do list, and for a few lovely moments, was quietly with me. In True Meditation, Zen Master Adyashanti advises that our attitude is key to our meditation experience. We need to come to meditation in a way that is fresh and innocent. In other words, let go of the list of ideas and expectations you have and start with a totally clean slate.
Tip #2
Give up trying to meditate. If you are trying to do anything while you are meditating, you are defeating the purpose of meditating. The point here is to let go of doing-ness altogether. The act of meditating is the only act. You are not trying to control the body or stop thought. When you are doing this manipulating and controlling in meditation, you  are actually resisting what is, and when you are in resistance, you cannot feel peaceful and you cannot quiet the mind or body. Its in allowing that you are able to do that. You simply sit and allow everything that happens to happen. Eventually, the body rests and the mind quiet. The more often you meditate, the more the body and mind get into a rhythm of releasing and quieting.
Tip #3
Commit to creating a practice. The experience of meditation and the benefits derived from meditating deepen and expand over time. David Fontana, author of  Learn to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Self-Discovery and Fulfillment says meditation is a path without end.We engage in the practice without expectation and keep engaging with open heart and mind. If every day feels daunting to you at first, choose a different frequency. If 20 or 30 minutes feels out of the question, sit for 10 or 15 minutes instead. You can also do briefer and longer sits if you feel called to do so. I meditate for 30-60 minutes daily and also integrate 2-5 minute mini sits whenever I feel the need to decompress.
The key is to get started and keep going! Once you integrate these 3 tips, any meditation technique you work with will become easier for you. In fact, Ill bet that over time, despite current appearances to the contrary, you will soon discover the Master Meditator that is already within you!
If you are interested in pursuing this more deeply, come check out my next Be Still and Mindful Meditation Tele-workshop at I promise it will be fun, easy and rewarding!
Blessings, Love and Light,
P.S. In case you are wondering if I ever have mind chatter, a fidgety body, or don't feel like I went that deep, the answer is yes. I just allow and accept every meditation as perfect, exactly as it is. And, I keep meditating every day.
About the Author
Sherpa of Happiness Valerie Ren© Sheppard is a recovering corporate executive on radical sabbatical, who is now devoted to guiding people to experience authentic happiness. Her diverse coaching background spans 20 years, including working with adolescent girls, homeless women, college students, and adult professionals. She is a certified Sacred Contracts coach through the Caroline Myss Education Institute. She has been praised for her coaching ability by students, mentees and peers.
In addition to helping individuals free themselves from limitations to have more vibrant lives, Valerie also combines her leadership tools with proven marketing and branding techniques to help business leaders create high-performance teams and drive increased revenues and profit. She speaks to numerous audiences, including corporations, spiritual groups, and major universities.
Valerie is a national best-selling author with Greg S. Reid of  Everything is Subject to Change, and is co-author with Marsh Engle of  Amazing Woman, Whats Your Story? Valerie has also been published in award-winning 11:11Magazine, and is a contributor to Divine Caroline„ and The Natural You„¢. She is based in San Clemente, California where in addition to her running her businesses, she walks the beach and is finishing her latest book, "The Happy to Be ME! Handbook due out in July 2012. For more information, you can visit her website at

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