4 Hacks to Increase the Depth of Meditation and get the Results


Those of us that have started a practice of meditation have probably experienced this: we earnestly restart a meditation practice when we perceive we begin to suffer whilst going through some sort of turmoil. We fall back into a trusted experience – hopefully! Eventually we breathe a sigh of relief when we move through that which is bothering us and – forget to practice because life begins to beckon us back to a run of thoughts again! We know – don’t we – we’ve lost our focus! We all have these times.

Years ago, when I first started meditation, I found it the hardest thing to do – to stop thought. But then I realized that none of us can stop it; the brain is there to process thoughts and there’s no way you can stop it from doing its job. I soon learned from my teacher that all we can do is learn to ‘observe’ them without any emotion or judgment attached. You see, I learned that the mind is NOT the brain – but is has a symbiotic relationship with it.

If you take the time to think about it, the mind isn’t physical; it is intangible or can’t be seen. But here’s the interesting point, the you that you are is the mind. When you are looking through your eyes – it is you – the mind – making use of the physical function of sight.

The fact is, just like learning to play an instrument, it takes practice. During the beginning stages of a meditation practice, you will without doubt find it hard – but anything worth experiencing is worth putting the work in to make it happen; in this case it’s a no brainer! Here’s a little hint: practice meditation until you can break the 30 minute barrier. And by this I mean that you should work toward being the observer for as long as you can until you break 30 minutes. Remember: the observer doesn’t think! It just observes! Once you’ve broken the 30 minute barrier, watch what happens when you break through an hour. If you don’t think you have the time then ask yourself this question: “Do I want a day that’s going to be relatively easy or do I want my day to be shambolic?”

IF you are using meditation as a tool to feel good – you’ve missed the point of it and you will just come back to the default setting before you started. You must learn to be the observer first up.

4 tips to help you shift into a higher gear of meditation:

1)      Use a Journal

This may sound a bit crazy, but yes, you can step out of a meditation to write down an idea you have received. Again, if you think about it, it’s just like observing a thought and deciding whether to entertain it or not, putting it aside to go back into practice being the observer within the meditation. Or you can write down your experience after.

The reason I say keep a meditation journal is really quite simple.

  1. If you have difficulty meditating, you can use the journal to remind you of the previous experience. Use it as a motivational tool.
  2. You may want to continue meditating and enlarging the idea you received in a previous meditation. This may be to aide you in business decisions or for whatever you are going through in your day to day life experience.
  3. You can use the journal to write down questions you wish to ask your ‘self’. This is an interesting part of meditation. If you are ever stuck in an experience during the normal run of the day, you can receive the answer. And you will know it is the correct answer by the way your physical self feels; there will be no question about it, in which case you need to action it as quickly and as practically as possible. If you feel fear at any stage, go back to the mind in meditation and sort it out. Ask questions.

These are the three main reasons but there are probably more you can think of. It’s up to you as an individual to use your journal for whatever you wish. I can’t impress it strongly enough, though, to have a journal and use it often.

2)      Break through the timer

Whether you’re in the habit of using a timer or not, each time you meditate, try to extend it in length of time; the benefits are enormous. If you’re new to meditation you may have difficulty maintaining focus over a long period but this is what meditation is all about; you are flexing and strengthening the mind muscle which will have greater results for you in life the more often you practice. Start with 5 minutes then reach to 10 and keep adding another 5 minutes each time you meditate; the task is then simple.

3)      Feel free to experiment and ask your ‘self’ questions

One of the greatest things about meditation is that it is ‘open-minded’; this means that you can quite literally go anywhere and do anything within it, which makes it interesting and fun. You have your own ‘gps’ or guidance system; as you meditate and find yourself in that relaxed state, ask yourself a question (it could be anything – from a simple task to a challenge you are attempting to complete), and then let it go. ‘Put it out there’ in other words. There is no doubt the answer will come to you and in most cases when you’re least expecting it. Again, you will know it’s the answer because it will hit you fairly quickly and it will just come out of nowhere without any emotion attached. Either as a fun experiment or in a moment of seriousness – just do it!

4)      Small meditation breaks

During the course of the day whether busy or not, I pull myself aside and meditate for 5 to 10 minutes (but often that 5 to ten minutes may get extended to 30 minutes). Essentially, you are giving your brain a break and reconnecting with your ‘self’ (the mind). Just as food is for the body, meditation is another way of recharging your system. You could even just do a breathing meditation for as long as it takes to make and have a coffee.

How quickly will I see results?

This is completely dependent upon how often you meditate; realistically you would not want to take any days off, remember you are attempting to create another positive habit here.

In most cases the most profound changes don’t take place during meditation at all; you will notice the changes in your experience of everyday life. Outside of meditation, you will need to be more ‘mindful’ which means that you are focused on what you are doing ‘within the present moment’; this is a natural state of mind gained from meditation. Mindfulness is really a meditation while you are doing your everyday stuff, with your eyes open. The practice of meditation, then, ekes into your life consequently becoming a quality of your new life-style.

The results of meditation will come through as ideas, pictures in the imagination, physical balance and grounding (you will physically and emotionally feel balanced). These are only some of the ways in which you see the results. Another is the feeling of inspiration; you will be and feel inspired to complete something or start something new; it could be anything but when this happens, don’t question it just do it. If it is good and wholesome for yourself and others and there is no way you can get it out of your head…make preparations and do it. Again, if there are more questions you need to ask before the ‘doing’ go inside first or you may want to discuss it with others who have a solid meditation practice.

Whether you are new or an old hand at meditation, never give up the time and opportunity for even a 10 minute meditation break. You will feel and experience the results as long as you commit and put your time and effort into a consistent meditation practice.

Meditation is for the Mind

 Let’s have a decent look at this. We’ve heard a lot about the relaxing calmness that meditation can bring to your world, but some people complain that it is short lived; there’s a good reason for that – you’ve lost your focus. Again, some people get who get caught up in the teachings of the ‘Law of Attraction’ or the ‘ability to manifest at will’ complain they don’t manifest their desires and end up back where they started or worse – again you’ve lost your focus – and (this is the big one) you haven’t followed through with the work. And one more example, I’ve heard complaints that some people who are trying to control negative thinking or discover silence of the mind, after a short spurt of success, only go back to their original pattern of thinking or the noise persists; and again I would say that you haven’t followed through physically or you haven’t maintained your focus.  You can’t remain calm, relaxed and peaceful if you don’t follow through with the physical work of ‘being’ calmed, relaxed and peaceful; your body needs to be shown how it works and get used to it. And you can’t control thought or remain silent unless you have focus.

There a many reasons why anyone would want to begin the practice of meditation, but in my (almost) 30 years of practicing it, I’ve managed to recognize that there are 3 major focal points (or intentions) to apply in meditation to begin with.

1) To Discover the Mind and its silence: most people believe the mind thinks. It doesn’t; it is that part of you that provides thought dependent upon what it is focused; otherwise the mind is silent and observes thought. Once it becomes focused upon a thought it will begin to guide your body into completing that series of thoughts or thought. It also uses your 5 senses to observe and experience the outside world and then decides to either join in with it or just remain observant to it or detached from it. The Mind is reliant upon the body to complete and express whatever it is focused upon and the body is reliant upon the mind to guide it in its desired experiences.

2) To strengthen focus and will: the strength of mind is dependent upon its focus and will power. These two terms have been taken out of context in that, it has been inferred in the past that we have to force our minds to think in a certain way. This is only true if you haven’t used meditation correctly – and, by the way – it is short lived. As soon as you enter into the thought and feeling of “I have to” you’ve not only put stress upon your physical body, but your mind will reject it based upon the reaction it gets from the physical body.

Focus of the mind means to allow your inner gaze to remain fixed upon a desired thought or idea; then will power cuts in, when your gaze becomes interrupted by a distraction; and those distractions can be extremely strong! As an example, have you ever started a project you really were keen to get completed only to be swayed from your original intent and became frustrated with yourself when you realize you hadn’t completed it? It could have been something very easy and simple but the distraction got the better of you. No need to get lost in the frustration – just bring yourself back to the project until you have successfully completed it – reward yourself and feel the elation. The power of the will is gentle and reminding. When we talk of the ‘power’ as such, we tend to think and feel of something that has ‘power’ over something but in this case it’s not correct to see it this way. The power of will is the ability of the mind to bring itself back to its intent; or it can be seen as the mind reminding itself of its intent.

The same can be applied in the form of meditation; you can focus your mind on some ‘thing’ (a candle or anything will do – try an insect, that’s an interesting one) or something in your imagination, with the intention of being fully focused upon it without taking any notice of your thoughts about that thing. Or you could focus your mind upon a positive thought without allowing any other thought to interfere. You may notice your attention being arrested by a noise outside or another thought; your will allows you to gently come back to the minds original intention. You don’t have to force it; you only have to practice it. The best way is to practice it in meditation and then practice it physically – do something with your mind fully focused upon the job at hand until completion and/or success. Yes it all sounds too easy, and it is – with practice.

3) To discover the real and authentic self (Mind, Body & Spirit): Everybody has been looking for that certain something that makes the difference in their lives. Life has become difficult and fast with digital technology the way it is. Depression and anxiety have hit a high, suicides are abundant, drug taking and alcoholism is epidemic amongst the many other mental conditions being diagnosed. And in all this people are looking for answers not only for others but for themselves too. The problem occurs when we begin to look outside of ourselves to find those answers. Some look for God, some others look for inspiration from others or try to become someone else, all of which only lasts a certain time, but many don’t even bother looking for anything and become complacent puppets and wonder why they are being pushed around.

To discover the real self is to discover your mind first, then it will naturally point itself to the body and heart (the authenticity of yourself physically). The ‘something’ that is going to make the difference is the mind. It is the most powerfully dynamic part of you that once focused and used correctly, will give you any experience you want. You can’t find yourself outside but you most definitely will on the inside.