Meditation quote

I’m not the kind of person who meditates often. I probably meditate once or twice a year, usually when I’m having a home spa night and having a facial and have to wait 15 minutes before I can wash my face. Then there’s the occasional time I have a Body Balance sesh at the gym. I always stay right through to the end when the instructor turns off the lights and guides us through a five to 10 minute meditation session. Some of the girls would choose to leave before the meditation but if I have time, I always stay. It’s my favourite part of Body Balance – the part where I get to lie down!

I’ve never really meditated regularly, though. Like most folks, I just dabble with it every now and then but I always get impatient when it comes to meditating. Like, there is just so much else to do! And my thoughts always run away with me when I’m meditating. I’m never just concentrating on my breath! Sometimes, I use the meditation part of Body Balance to make grocery lists for when I go to the supermarket after!

But recently I’ve been feeling a tad frazzled. Work, multi-tasking, a couple of really bad personal life issues and a touch of the flu have all combined to leave me feeling extremely stressed out. My mind was everywhere and nowhere; even my eyes were extremely tired and sore because if I wasn’t looking at some sort of computer screen, I would staring at my iPhone screen or at the TV screen. So I decided I needed to take some time out, even if it was just 15 minutes, and just meditate.

 I didn’t want to meditate. I didn’t want to be alone with my thoughts.

But you know what? It worked.

 I still don’t necessarily leave my thoughts and float into the stillness when I meditate. Sometimes I find myself ruminating on thoughts or parts of myself that I don’t like. Or issues that are going on in my life that I don’t like either. But I tell myself I’m okay with it. That I’m okay with all parts of myself, the good, the bad and the in-between. And that I’m okay with all the bad stuff that’s happening now too. That, yeah, there is good stuff and bad stuff going on in my life right now. But you know what? Now’s not the time to worry about them. Right now, I’m in the zone. And in the zone, nothing matters. Absolutely nothing happens.

And then I realise this is why I love running. Because I’m in the zone when I run too. And anything else that’s happening in my life? Can’t touch me when I’m running.

The book Love Your Enemies by Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman touched briefly on prisoners at the William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility who were offered vipassana meditation sessions. Meditation forced the inmates who participated to sit in silence for hours with nothing to do but come face-to-face with some inner truths, to examine what’s really going on in their minds and hearts. And, come on, isn’t that something all of us could use every now and again?

So just try it. You don’t need to set up a fancy meditation corner with cushions and a scented candle (although if you do become a regular at meditation, this could make a nice little ‘your space’ corner!). Even if there’s a lot of noise going on outside your window that might distract you, don’t worry. Meditation doesn’t require perfect silence, it’s about accepting what’s happening in your world right now. Choose silence or choose a little soft, relaxing music (but don’t go overboard stressing about what to choose). If you want to time yourself, just set your phone timer to however long you want to meditate (short is best when starting out – anywhere from two minutes to five to 10 minutes.) Then sit back or lie down, get comfy, close your eyes and just concentrate on your breath. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Nothing to worry about. Doesn’t matter what else in the world is going on. Just. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Even if you find yourself drifting away from your thoughts, just pull yourself gently back to your breath. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

 A few links to help get you started!

Note: Many meditation videos on YouTube have some lovely pictures to go with their music but as a big reason for meditating for me is to keep away from looking at computer screens or going near any form of technology, what I do is turn the volume up and turn the laptop away from me so I wouldn’t have the full light of a laptop screen shining in my face as I meditate.

I don’t meditate everyday but I do try to meditate at least once a week for five to 15 minutes. I find 15 minutes of meditation suits me best – not too short and not too long. But you know what? Whenever you find yourself a little frazzled, just closing your eyes and concentrating on breathing for a minute alone will help. All you need is a little time out for yourself. And that’s what meditation is all about.


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