Heavens knows establishing and keeping a meditation practice going isn’t easy-peasy. I mean, who the heck has 10 minutes a day to sit and essentially do nothing?
Plus, when you do sit down, all sorts of things happen. In this excerpt from Relaxing The Writer: Guidebook To A Writer’s High author Amber Polo discusses common difficulties when meditating and offers solutions.
Discomfort: Experiment until you find a comfortable position. Use pillows or blankets or sit in a chair.
Sleepiness: Begin with a shorter meditation time. Look up, even though your eyes are closed. Or try another type of meditation offering more to focus on.
Impatience: Begin your meditation practice with no expectations, other than relaxation.
More Discomfort: If you spend a lot of time sitting, more sitting may be uncomfortable. Moving and stretching before sitting to meditate is important, as is adding an active activity to your day. Especially if you choose to sit on the floor, practicing gentle hip stretches as a warm-up will help make sitting more comfortable. Many consider one of the primary purposes of yoga to make sitting in meditation easier.
Distractions and unwanted thoughts: When you’re lost in a good book, you aren’t bothered by outside distractions. Meditation is like that. Observe your thoughts as if they belonged to someone else. Acknowledge them and let them go. If the thoughts are disturbing, sad, or make you angry, imagine they come from a story in a book you’ve once read. Don’t worry about falling asleep. And don’t be so competitive you give each meditation session a score.
Try music or incense, if they do not distract you. There is no right way. Meditation can be an informal 10 minutes of quiet, listening to music, or looking out the window. Experiment with high tech versions like meditation goggles if that appeals. Insight Timer, an iPhone app, serves as a pleasant timer for meditation.
Amber Polo is the author of Relaxing The Writer: Guidebook To A Writer’s High, a couple mystical romance novels, and a delightful series about dogs and libraries.
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