Are you making progress with your meditation?
You may not be sure you’re meditating correctly, if you’re new to the practice. One thing that will help is to strengthen your ability to notice and appreciate small changes. Check out these signs of progress in meditation by the folks at WildMind:
- Other people noticing that you are changing. Sometimes it’s hard to have a sense of perspective on ourselves. We can easily concentrate on supposed failures to the extent that we completely miss positive changes. Often, my meditation students report that other people notice that they are changing; becoming more relaxed, less reactive, and more friendly.
- Starting to develop more concentration. You can use the counting to give you a sense of whether you are developing more concentration. Being able to count to ten even once may be a step forward. If you make it to there, then you might want to aim to count to ten three times in a row. You might notice that you have the ability to count continuously and also have a lot of thoughts arising. That’s great! Pay more attention to the fact that you have developed more continuity of awareness than you do to the fact that there are still a lot of stray thoughts.
- Paying more attention to the outside world. It’s a very good sign when you start to slow down and notice the beauty in the world.
- Becoming more aware of your actions. Often, before we get to the stage of being aware of our actions before we do them, we start to notice them after we’ve done them. It’s tempting to feel frustration to realize that you’ve lost your temper once again, but actually it’s a good sign that you’re noticing this at all. With practice you’ll be able to catch those responses earlier and earlier, until you’re able to choose to respond more creatively.
- Feelings of calmness. You may have spells of greater than usual calmness in your meditation or after meditation. You may even experience some reluctance to end a period of meditation.
WildMind also tells us that the main sign that you’re making progress with your practice, is being more relaxed about making progress! Simply relax, work on your meditation, and don’t worry about how well you’re doing. Keep up with your meditation practice, and the progress will come naturally.