Meditation: Am I doing this right?

Growing up, I would hear my mother start her morning routine with the grinding of coffee beans in the kitchen before heading back into her bedroom closet where she’d sit in meditation. In the dark hours of dawn, I’d be jarred awake then lulled back to sleep with the sound of each drop filtering into the pot below. That was how my mother would get into comfortable meditation. For me, well, that was my excuse to sleep in for 15 more minutes before rushing to get out the door.

Over the years, I got why meditation was so sacred to my mom. It was her way to press pause on the daily noise – a way to start her day with intention and set her internal compass for her life’s direction. Truly, a way to start with peace instead of rush.

I thought over the years that meditation would naturally rub off on me, but the truth is, it’s a journey you have to purposefully take on your own. Just being on board with the idea doesn’t reap you the benefits.

When I first started meditating about a year ago, I’d sit in silence, looking for comfortable meditation positions, thinking to myself – am I doing this right? I’d imagine my yoga teacher guiding me through a sitting breathing meditation exercise, encouraging me to, “Clear your mind. Notice any thoughts and let them go. Bring your consciousness back to the present breath.” She made it sound so easy, but my mind wandered a lot!

Eager to find the right way to meditate, I’d research methods for sitting meditation for beginners. I dedicated a meditation sitting room in my apartment. I’d look up sitting meditation quotes like, “Be still and know yourself as the Truth you’ve been looking for” and repeat it in my mind, but not digesting what it really meant for me. I spent my energy looking up how to do meditate, self-conscious about doing it the way that others did, instead of developing and trusting my own internal compass.

There’s no right way to meditate. You can read about how to find a comfortable meditation position or surf the web about comfortable clothing for meditation. You can see what others say are the best sitting meditation styles or if you should even practice meditation sitting vs lying.

Trust me, I’ve scoured the internet to just get started. But that’s the catch – don’t let research of how others do it prevent you from finding what works for you.

You just have to start. Even if it means waking up the house with the sound and smell of fresh coffee so you can head back into your room to meditate.