Noor Aljandan , Student at Dhahran Ahliyya Schools 

One of the most frequent misconceptions people have about meditation is that it makes you feel a specific emotion. When, it is about staying still, clearing the mind, and accepting unwanted thoughts as they are and unlock new insight. Most of us are bothered by an endless stream of negative thoughts, and it is a rarity to go longer than a few moments without any. To achieve a sense of calm, many turn to meditation, the art of staying still.

If you feel nothing when you meditate, you would be surprised to know you are doing it well! The absence of our inner self-talk creates an even greater opportunity to notice the body, feelings, and emotions. There is no unique sensation that is supposed to turn up when meditating. Meditation, when properly understood, is about training the mind to be aware of our thoughts and observing thoughts without judgment with the ultimate goal of understanding them. Initially, the practice can be uncomfortable, but it is a skill that we can hone with consistent practice. It can also be incredibly calming when done correctly, improving our concentration and reducing stress.

I have been meditating for a year now and can finally say that I have reached a state I can sit with my thoughts without judgments and accept them as they come. Afterward, I feel at peace. However, I sometimes still struggle with intrusive thoughts and emotions when I meditate, which is normal. Meditation, after all, is a practice. 

When it comes to meditation, many people make the mistake of always trying to abruptly stop any thoughts to try to enter a peaceful state and strive to stay there. Unfortunately, these attempts cause stress, tension, and frustration and become the number one cause for people to stop practicing. Thus, leading beginners to believe they are doing it incorrectly or that it is too difficult, but it does not have to be that way! The trick is not to end any unpleasant thoughts entirely but to observe and allow them to pass.

So, in the end, meditation is not about making you feel something profound but observing your thoughts without judgment and with openness and curiosity. It may not eliminate negative self-talk ,but it will help us find a new perspective to let go of our inner-critic. 

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