There are many misconceptions and also preconceived ideas when it comes to the practise of meditation. Many people hold believes such as, we need to already have a calm mind in order to meditate, we need to sit on the floor with our legs crossed for hours, or they might think that they are not suited for meditation because they keep falling asleep. While there are certainly forms of meditation that focus intently on quieting the mind and involve a high degree of concentration, those forms of meditation can sometimes be frustrating or discouraging for people, as it involves a level of failure when they cannot achieve a quiet mind. In other words, the meditation requires effort.
As the name suggest, Effortless Meditation is exactly the opposite. In short, we invite and welcome the fluctuations of thoughts and feelings, and rather than wanting and trying to avoid them, we simply let them be. During the practise of Effortless Meditation we simply give our mind an anchor, just like we sink the anchor into the water when sitting in a boat. This anchor doesn’t only keep the mind “in one place” for a while, just like the boat, the mind also comes to a point of stillness, for a while, just like the boat. As we are human beings operating through the mind to a certain degree, it is completely normal that at some point the mind starts wondering off, just like the boat drifts away from the anchor. It is however still connected to the anchor through a rope. So, at some point, once the rope has extended to its full length, the boat tugs on the rope and slowly, gently drifts back towards the anchor. This is how our mind operates during effortless meditation. You are being given an anchor, and it is completely normal for your mind to start drifting away from it. At some point, you become aware of the fact that your mind has drifted, and so you easily, gently and effortlessly move your mind back to the anchor. There is absolutely no need to try to bring the mind into stillness, and we do not need to force ourselves to be without mental fluctuations, as we automatically experience the stillness and a state of just being in between the fluctuations. We allow the natural flow to happen rather than consciously working against it through force and effort.
Through a regular practise, our body and mind experience more and more this state of stillness and the gaps in between, which has a profound effect on our physical, emotional, mental and psychological state. There is an overwhelming amount of scientifc research that supports this type of meditation and shows how it can positively influence and improve stress levels and psychological as well as physical imbalances created through sress, such as anxiety, high blood pressure, depression and so much more. If you would like to explore the scientific research in more depth, please follow the links below.