- How do you do it?
- Isn’t it hard to think about nothing?
With that in mind, I’d like to introduce my meditation assistant, Willie.
Willie is a 16 pound cat who loves nothing more than to sit on one’s lap and purr. Since I sit in a chair when I meditate, Willie believes this is an open invitation to join me.
His purring does create a certain meditative mood and makes me feel cozy.
How does one meditate?
There’s nothing magical about meditating. You can spend hours or just minutes doing it. The objective is to relax your body and mind.
Here is my routine each morning:
- After my oatmeal ritual (read more about that here), I grab my iPhone, touch the Utilities button and open up the Clock function. I choose the Timer and set it for 10 or 15 minutes.
- I sit in an armless chair and turn it towards the window.
- Since my mind tends to follow my body, I relax my legs and arms first – really let the chair support me. I also bow my head down just a little to open up the back of my neck, an area where I hold a lot of tension.
- I choose to close my eyes but you can keep them open.
- I then begin to focus on my breathing and really feel the air entering my nose, throat and lungs.
- After a few moments I also focus on what I hear. In the summer I enjoyed listening to the birds chirp. Now that the weather is colder and the windows are closed, I listen to Willie purr or the sounds of the house.
- When my time is up, the magical sounds of a harp chime from my iPhone. (There are lots of choices on your phone. Just stay away from, say, a Sousa march or you may jolt yourself into the next room.)
Isn’t hard to think about nothing?
Yes, it’s impossible.
So give yourself a break and realize that thinking about nothing is not the goal of meditation.
The goal is to observe your thoughts and not attach to them.
Here’s my usual thought pattern in a non-meditative state: Gotta do the laundry after work and be sure there’s enough lunch meat to get through the week or I’ll starve at work which would make me a bad employee which would mean I’d get fired then I’ll be dancing for my food or living in a box under the freeway bridge.
My thoughts when I meditate: Laundry. Hmmmm. Lunch meat. Okay.
The trick is not to attach to the thoughts that cause you to focus on your story.
You know your story. The one where you fall into some drama and all hell breaks loose because you didn’t get the lunch meat.
I’m not saying this is easy. But just cutting your mind off when the story starts is going a long way towards a more peaceful state.
There are many ways you can meditate: sitting, walking, running, swimming, painting, gardening, laughing. The goal is to get out of your grind mind (read more about that here).
Meditation is simple. That doesn’t mean it’s easy.
If you’ve never tried meditation give it 2 minutes of your time. And let me know how it goes in the Comments section below. If you have meditated, share your experience in the Comments section.
Does anyone else meditate with their pets (either on purpose or because the pet insists on being included)?