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Of the 6 years of meditating everyday, I have noticed significant differences in myself not only ‘off the pillow,’ but also while sitting. As we form a daily meditation practice, our brains begin recruiting cells to form new pathways, helping us to develop positive habits and behaviors. We can witness these physiological changes even while meditating. Below are 7 signs during meditation that help us to know that our practice is working.
1. You let go of your beginner support tools.
When we first begin meditating, we may require support in sitting, getting into a meditative state, focusing on our breath, and feeling calmer. As we grow consistent in our practice, we will find that we begin to naturally modify or completely let go of these initial aids. Most recently, I have found that I no longer require lighting incense or chanting mantras to help me get into a meditative frame of mind. I can sit down and go into meditation almost immediately, but it didn’t start happening until after a daily practice of over 2 years. Sometimes it’s nice to have the extra stuff, but you will find that it is no longer necessary to your practice.
2. When thoughts arise they are more centered on the present, than the past or future.
During my private sessions with clients who have maintained a practice for a significant amount of time, I ask them about the quality of their thoughts when they do arise during meditation. Without fail the majority of them will say that they have noticed the feelings of regret, anger, and anxiety slowly lose prominence. This is because meditation helps us work through the barriers we have created in our mind due to past experiences. We work towards letting go of anything that’s been preventing us from growing and moving forward. So, when your mind wanders, it’s not so much about marinating in blocked emotions, but processing recent events.
3. You stop comparing your meditations.
In the beginning it is very easy to evaluate our meditations after each sit. We may think, yesterday I had a great meditation, today, not so much. Then, we tell ourselves, maybe this isn’t working. After a while though, we begin to realize that each meditation holds power in it. Did you know that each time you sit to meditate it goes into creating long-term effects? So, that if you meditated consistently for 6 months, but then let go of the practice for 2 years, and started meditating again, that you would just be picking back up from your practice 2 years ago. Think of it as an investment you make into your bank account. Each time you make a deposit, it’s going towards the larger goal.
4. You start meditating throughout the day.
This has been one of the most fascinating developments in my own meditation practice. At random times in the day, I will find myself going into a meditative state, sometimes not even realizing I am doing it. I will start following my breath in and out or holding in my mind’s eye my chosen diety. You will notice that you don’t have to be sitting in front of your altar to go into a meditative flow. Have you ever seen people randomly get into yoga poses, while waiting in line or at the airport? Naturally, we want to move our bodies into poses where it feels good. We do the same for our minds. Since we have trained our minds during our meditation practices to focus and have found peace in it, we organically begin doing it at other times.
5. You stop judging yourself.
One of the most common ways we discourage ourselves from maintaining a meditation practice comes from our negative self-talk. As you form a consistent practice, you will become an expert at letting thoughts come and go, instead of holding on to them and allowing them to create barriers for you. You will recognize your impatience in wanting to ‘get this over with’ and instead slow down. The truth of the matter is that everyone has thoughts drifting in and out of their minds during meditation. Most people feel like they can’t meditate because there are other more important things they could be doing. However, once you form a regular practice and notice the gains, you will stop trying to talk yourself out of meditating.
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6. You start prioritizing your practice.
There are many excuses we create for not meditating. In the beginning, you may tell yourself, I will do it tomorrow. The next day comes and you tell yourself the same thing. Many days go by and you have yet to meditate. It will be challenging at first to make time for sitting. As you do though, automatically you will make room for it in your day. The benefits far outweigh the initial struggles, so keep at it. You will get to a point where it becomes part of your everyday routine, like brushing your teeth or taking a shower, and you won’t have to even think twice about it. [Related: How To Create A Morning Meditation Routine]
7. Increased focus during meditation.
As time goes on, it becomes easier to focus on your given meditation tool, whether it be the breath, mantra, or an object. [Related: How To Choose The Perfect Object To Focus On During Meditation] This is why it’s of the utmost importance to have a regular practice. The 8 Limbs of Yoga or Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, and numerous other Vedic texts talk about just this- You first have to be able to hold your concentration on your given meditation tool (dharana) before you can get into the flow of keeping it there (dhyana), which is the actual meditation part. In order to get to this stage, you have to have a daily practice.
There is no doubt that a consistent and patient meditation practice will create life-transforming results. As you reflect on your own practice, what are some changes you have already noticed in yourself while meditating?
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I’ve just started a daily practice with 10 min every morning and night and, while it’s been a challenge, it seems to get easier each day.
Same here. I started meditating about 3 months ago. I try to meditate each morning, but I usually forget on the weekends. I use the aid of Guided Meditation videos on Youtube as I have not yet mastered how to quiet my mind on my own yet. However, I must say that my mind is quieter than it was 2 months ago. I don’t feel as anxious at night and my mind isn’t racing as much as it used to… but most importantly, I am closer to God than I have ever been and I am understanding myself more than I ever have.. and it feels wonderful!
Latasha, you are experiencing the benefits of meditation! So wonderful to read. If you are feeling this way after a few months, think about the changes after a year. Keep it up!
Absolutely! As time goes on, meditation will become less challenging and more enjoyable! Stick with it!
i keep getting bad thoughts , will meditating will improve my thought process and become more positive towards thinking process.
Can i get up straight from bed and start meditating even before i wash my face.
Themton, yes, meditation helps us have more positive thoughts. And, the negative thoughts that arise during meditation are for a reason- so we can work towards removing them and eventually, be completely free from their bondage. Of course, you should create a meditation schedule that works for you! It is always nice to get a little cleaned up, but if you find you are more motivated right after waking up, then go for it!
Hi during maditation i get started vomiting why?
Harsh, this is not a natural or normal outcome of meditation. What type of meditation are you practicing? Feeling ill during or after meditation is an indication that something else is going on. You should re-evaluate the type of meditation you are practicing and also check your health.
I have been meditating for 2 and a half years and it has help me so much! I find it a daily MUST in my life. It is hard at first, as was said, but continued practice is very beneficial!
Yes, Wade, absolutely! Thank you for sharing your experience.
I am seeing the plus sign ( + ) in meditation.
Can you help me to understand what does this signify.
Hi Hrishikesh, I cannot tell you for certain what this signifies and why you are seeing it. But, I can say, to not get stuck on this vision and to continue with your meditations without thinking too much about it. If it is causing you any chronic problems, then stop immediately, and find the source of the issue.
What is the best bedtime meditation music to listen to?
I keep going back and forth on different app’s.
Hi Chris! Any type of instrumental music that helps you feel calmer, while encouraging you to remain alert and mindful would be beneficial. I would also strongly suggest, if you aren’t already, to sit at least a few minutes without music.
I use an app called Moodspace it is very good, i have just started now during lockdown it is guiding me perfectly
Thank you, Thula!
Thank you as I am right a beginner but I have to say my first time yesterday, already gave me positive influence on the rest of the day and, although still procrastinating the time to, for today, I am anyway still looking forward to the commitment with myself.
Alessandro, so nice to read! Yes, keep up with your daily meditation practice and as time goes on it will get easier to sit everyday.
im suffering from anxiety. i dont want to take antidepressants again this time. will meditation help me to overcome anxiety? how many times a day do i need to meditate? when will i see some benefits of it? im frustrated of my anxiety symptoms 🙁
I can understand your frustration. Meditation will definitely help you to overcome anxiety, but it is a gradual process. I would recommend you start small by sitting for just a few minutes everyday, while continuing to take any medications prescribed to you. Benefits will be felt with a consistent practice. It is a very important point to remember that meditation is not a cure-all for every ailment or problem in life, meaning we cannot solely rely on it to make all of our challenges go away. We meditate so that we become better equipped to handle the ups and downs of life. Sending you the best.
I started meditation from last 1 month. Yours weekly mails & meditation booklet lot of help me. I’m doing meditation 3-4 days in a week. I will be trying for meditation for daily basis.
1. My starting days of meditation was better than current days of my meditation…why is it like this?
2. I think, I am going a some kind of deeper level of meditation but at one point I stuck, I think something beyond that…but I can’t go much that level…???
Hi Sumit, thank you for your comment. It sounds like you are off to a great start. To answer your first question, yes, in the beginning it may feel easier because we are still creating a practice so we are focused on being consistent, making sure we are sitting properly, and that we have understood the technique. As we continue to practice, we may experience some discomfort, either physically or mentally. Maybe we are not used to sitting everyday so the body feels different. Also, once we have gotten past the initial stage, we are now delving deeper into the mind, so unexpected thoughts may arise, which may not be pleasant. This is all normal. We have to experience this in order to purify the mind. In answer to your second question, try not to think about where you are going, meaning the end point or final result. Instead, bring your focus to the present and attempt to keep it there for as long as you can. Even when you feel some positive experience, do not get stuck on that, again bring your mind to the here and now. Sending you the highest vibrations for your continued practice.
I meditate every morning and the feeling I receive is a tingling and warm sensation and I am much calmer now and waiting for me to receive my breakthrough and blessing in life
Hi Maude. I love to read that you are meditating every morning! Keep going! It sounds like you have already experienced a breakthrough in feeling calmer. If you continue staying present, then no need to wait for your blessing in life. You are already living it.
Is it okay to meditate for 15 minutes only in a day?
Hi Pierre. Actually, it has been shown by neuroscience that a 15 minute daily practice over 6 months will create new neural pathways in the brain. So, yes, absolutely, continue with your practice!
Now I’ve been at this for nearly 2 years now but I still have not yet figured out if I should meditate or not before astrol projection which I Astro project on some night and some I don’t do you have any insight on this?
Hi Ganesh, no, I am not the best person to ask about this- but, I can say, the goal of meditation should never be to gain transcendental powers or siddhis. I am not saying you are, but just in case, meditation should be about gaining peace of mind.
Is it good to meditate before or after the exercise?
And how many times meditation can be done in a day and time spend in each meditation?
Hi Kailash. Ideally, it is good to meditate after exercising because we want to have both energy and feel calm for our meditation. However, exercise should not be vigorous or exhausting. So, in that case, it depends on the kind of exercise you are doing. The length of time and how often you meditate depends on many factors-your preparation, experience with meditation, if you are practicing the appropriate meditation according to your personality, how long you can sit comfortably, how long you can sit without the mind wandering. So, you will be the best judge to decide. I hope that helps!
Hi I started meditating several months ago an hour a day just focusing on my breath. Sometimes I can feel my whole body vibrate and other times it’s my arm or leg. Is that normal? Sometimes it’s very subtle and I can barely feel it. Where just a couple times it was so intense I could literally feel my mind separating from my body. When that happened It scared me and I just seemed to slowly settle back into myself. Since then I’ve been trying to feel that way once more so I increased the duration and consistency of my meditations. I’m wondering if me trying to get to that point Is in fact what’s keeping me from experiencing It again. Because maybe I’m not focused on the present and more On the destination..Could you let me know if this is normal. Was I dreaming when I felt Like I was Rising Several feet above my body? My girlfriend doesn’t believe me and I don’t know if I believe it either so I’m going to keep trying to get back to that point. Thank you for your time
Hi Jason. Yup, you are correct! Do not focus on any visions or sensations you may feel during meditation. It is normal to have these experiences, but we should not attach significance to them because they then become obstructions on our path. We are trying to move beyond the body and mind. When we crave for experiences during meditation, we are adding more desires, which cause further attachments. So, yes, re-shift your focus. Try not to give too much importance to what you experienced. Hope that helps!
Jason Malone, the very first day I started experiencing spiritual awakening, I taught I was going insane until I read about it online and how to build my spiritual life by meditating. My first meditation I spend 1 hour’s plus, I remembered how all my body was vibrating, my breath on a slow mood, my vision went high, I became afraid, but today I practice both guided and non guided meditation, I have been succeeding till now
I was meditating and my body started jerking. I realised I was making infinity sign with my body movements… What does this mean?? And sometimes I make signs like U or C or O, is it all normal.. I sometimes caress my face, massage my back.. I don’t know if all these experiences are normal or maybe I’m making them consciously. Can anyone please help me understand? Thank you.
I have been meditating for quiet some time, and I sued to perform some mundras. I felt very relaxed afterwards, and kept this tundra meditation continuously going. However, I am lately experiencing very unique things, such as making sounds from my mouth and its sounds like music( gungroo etc). Last two weeks this has progressed further more and now I am making sounds like music scale ( Sur). I am bit overwhelmed, and curious to know that its okay to continue. I don’t feel any discomfort, in fact it is very relaxing, I feel bliss afterwards.
Hi Shahnaz! It cannot always be predicted how the energy in our body will manifest physically. This is why it is recommended that a person meditate alone, so as to give them privacy. As long as you feel relaxed and it is not causing pain, then it sounds like it is okay for you to continue meditating.
I have been meditating for a year and i dont see any progress. Nothing at all. Someday i feel i should not be doing but the other day i do it. I cant even think of stopping. What is the option?
Hi Sanjeeb. When you say that you do not see any progress, are there particular things you are looking for to show that you have progressed? What are they? Perhaps you have progressed, but in ways you do not realize.
I have been meditating for over 6 years and I don’t know if it’s helping or not, I often think about quitting it for a bit just to see what it does help. My mind still scatters during the day and I still can’t seem to hold a “non-thought” for the whole 20 minutes of my practice, I always have a point that my mind wanders. I just want to know if this is just a waste of my time, I hope not and I don’t believe it is but I want advice, should I quit for a bit to see what the true affects are of it.
Thank you for listening.
Hi Melanie! Apologies for the delay in responding to your very honest and thoughtful comment and question. It is completely normal for the mind to wander at points during meditation, even after several years of practice. Instead of stopping your practice altogether to see if it is helping, I would suggest that you think of the ways it has helped you in the past 6 years. How have you changed for the better? Focus on the positive, instead of getting discouraged. Try not to have expectations. I know it is difficult not to! Just practice being present during your meditation practice and while you are living each day. That is all you can do. You will automatically start noticing a difference. I hope this helps! Sending you much encouragement and high vibrations.