My last three days of “meditation” have gone like this:
Sunday: Anyone who thinks I am going to get up early on a Sunday is just plain batty. I counted my session today as worship at church. Some great songs, some prayer, some me and God time… I always feel more centered and like a better person after having spent time in worship.
Monday: I hit snooze. Then, somewhere in my “I-can’t-believe-it’s-Monday-already” stupor, I briefly remembered something about a two week trial of meditation. Then I hit snooze again. I felt bad about it later and promise to get up early Tuesday.
Tuesday: I hit snooze. Then, somewhere in my “ugh-it’s-only-Tuesday” stupor, I briefly remember feeling bad about not getting up to mediatate yesterday, and promising to get up today and do it. Then I hit snooze again.
I decided once again that my energetic, afternoon, get-stuff-done self has to try and override my lazy, sleepy morning self. I had this same issue during my two week trial of The 12 Days of Christmas. If I was going to finish out this meditating two week trial strong, I was going to have to take some serious action against myself. I googled “how to meditate” and this is what I came up with:
Here is an interesting site. It is full of different kinds of meditating, how to get started, how to progress and lots of other info. But I was looking more for a how-to guide and I found it at wikihow. I read one definition of meditation as “a mental discipline by which one attempts to get beyond the conditioned, “thinking” mind into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness.” The conditioned, thinking mind. That is my problem. I am always thinking. I think while thinking. My thoughts have thoughts. As I wonder if my husband does this too, I glance over at him, staring at the TV like a zombie, eyes wide, not blinking or moving. He wouldn’t even be aware if a tornado ripped through the house, unless of course, it took the TV with it. What is it with men and that “zoning out” they do any time they are in a 20 foot radius of a TV?
Step One: Make Time. The site suggests in the morning, before your head is filled with the thoughts of the day, but the thing is… mine already is. What time is it? What will I feel Riley for breakfast? Will I make it to work on time? Will that shipment of drugs come in today? What if they don’t?” What will Jordan’s day be like? Will Riley still have an ear infection at his appointment today? What will I cook for supper? Will Riley eat it? Will Jordan like it? Will we get to watch a movie tonight? And THOSE are just my morning thoughts. Wait until all of those questions get answered, which will in turn bring more questions. Yes, better mediate in the morning. It also points out “Don’t meditate immediately following a meal, or when you are likely to be hungry. The body’s digestive system can be very distracting.” Well, that’s out. I am always likely to be hungry.
Step Two: Choose a relaxing environment. I don’t have one of these other than my bed. Outside I guess… Certainly not in my living room full of toddler toys. Now that it is not IN THE 30s, I can go outside. It is peaceful in the early morning with the birds softly chirping. I am lucky enough to live in the country, which means not only do I get to see stars every night, but there is no highway noise.
Step Three: Sit on level ground. They say to do this because it is important for your breathing to sit with a straight back. I guess that means no more leaning on the couch, half slumped to the ground. Check.
Step Four: Relax Everything. Also not hard to do in the morning. Check.
Step Five: Let your attention focus only on your breath. It goes on to say “but make no judgments on it (such as “It sounds a little raspy…maybe I’m getting a cold?”). This is where it gets tricky. It is so hard to NOT think. It suggests repeating a mantra in an attempt to focus on a word or sound, or counting your breaths one through ten. After a while, you should try to drop the word and clear your mind. Yeah… sure. We’ll see. This leads us to …
Step Six: Silence your mind. I like that word – silence. Not just clear, but silence. It implies action. You must work for it.
Armed with these new steps and suggestions, I feel prepare to give it another try. But right now, I am half falling asleep typing this and it’s not even 8 pm yet. 5:45 will come very early. We will see what the morning brings.