We learn more easily in an environment where we feel safe, supported and at ease. And this includes the environment we set up for meditation. We can choose a posture which is relatively comfortable, and still allows us to be alert. Noticing body sensations which are already pleasant and relaxed can set the stage for less struggle in the mind. Choosing to put aside any problems which have been in our thoughts can also bring more ease. “No need to hash this thing out during our meditation practice – thinking about it later will be just fine!”

And best of all, whenever the mind wanders during meditation, mindfulness will arise again at some point. And that point is an opportunity to give ourselves positive feedback. “So nice to be back here again!” Bhikkhu Analayo also recommends noticing that whatever hindrance was present, has ended. And there is a subtle sense of joy in this moment of presence in the absence of a hindrance. We can feel into the pleasure of being present and joy of being free of a hindrance. Such a simple and easy way to enjoy meditation practice!

All of these methods are ways in which we use the knowledge of neuroscience at River Valley Insight to help make our practice easier.

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