I'm on a boat!

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The universe makes me laugh. You too?

Before I ever tried meditation, I actively tried to avoid it. I believed one of the biggest misconceptions about meditation (you have to rid your mind of thoughts) to be true and that it wasn’t for me.

Once I finally sat down and closed my eyes, I learned that meditation is simply noticing your thoughts, gently letting them go and returning your attention to your breath, a mantra or any other preferred grounding tool. Again and again.

I love this metaphor for meditation: Imagine you're sitting on the shore watching the boats go by. All of a sudden, you realize you're on the deck of one of the boats. What you do next is most important. Do you sail away on the boat, do you beat yourself up for boarding it or do you teleport back to the shore?

It's the same with meditation. You're sitting quietly, a thought comes up and sometimes you go with it. The practice of meditation is to notice when distractions arise and let them go. Sharon Salzberg says meditation is “exercising the letting go muscle.”

To keep it light, without judgment or criticism, you could even silently say “I'm on a boat!” like The Lonely Island when you realize you've been carried away. Then return to the shore and begin again.

If you want to learn more about meditation, this 6-minute video will walk you through the basics and even guide you through a short practice. For a list of upcoming RYC events in NYC, click here.