Friday, March 20, 2009

Deep in Thought

Awhile back, the consensus amongst some unnamed qualified medical professionals was that I should meditate. As someone who cannot sit still, I could not envision a more torturous endeavor than meditation. Sure, it sounds appealing in theory, but in reality it makes my jaw clench and my body convulse like nails on a chalkboard does. Apparently I possess some character traits like perfectionism, over commitment, an inability to say no, and the desire to keep constantly busy. I do not associate all of those with the disdain in which they have been addressed to me, similar to oh, people with homicidal tendencies and crack habits. However, in an effort to maximize my health, I’ve been repeatedly assured that I should meditate, even starting in small increments, and I would notice a significant benefit.

“Well, what do you mean by small increments?”

“You can just start by using a small portion of time in the morning to meditate. Relax and focus on your breathing, do not even try to do anything else - just breathe. Clear your mind and breathe.”

“But how long should I do it?”

“What do you mean?”

“I just need to know how long I should try it for. I want to make sure I am doing it correctly.”

“Lyndsay, the fact that you need to apply your perfectionism, organization, and time constraints to meditation means you need it more than I initially thought,”

With that decree, I agreed to try meditation the following day. I woke up early … I normally wake up at 5:15, so I am not sure that early is the appropriate terminology for earlier than that. I drug myself out of bed and positioned myself to meditate.

Okay, focus on your breathing. In and out. In and out.
What happens if I fall asleep right here? My alarm is already off and I will be late for work. Work, what do I have to do at work today? I think financial statements are distributed today. Ugh.
Okay, stop thinking. Focus on your breathing. In and out. In and out.
That sundried tomato hummus we had last night was so good. I should pack some of it for lunch today. Oh, it would make a great appetizer for the baby shower too. The shower! I only have a couple of weeks until the shower and I haven’t even ordered a cake. I wonder if I would be breaking meditation rules if I opened my eyes long enough to write a note to remember to order cake today.
Shut up mind, shut up. We are supposed to be focusing on nothing, just breathing and relaxing. In and out. In and out.
I wonder how many minutes I have left. I don’t think I put the clothes in the dryer last night, so I can’t wear the pants I planned to wear. What should I wear instead? Is it supposed to be warm today again, or freeze your ass cold? Maybe we really should think about moving somewhere warmer. I’m totally going to develop Seasonal Affective Disorder if winter does not go away.
Okay, loser, you can’t even meditate right. Shut up. Breath in and out. In and out.
Wait, I’m not supposed to insult myself, am I? I think that defeats part of the purpose of this meditation business.
Stop it. Stop it. Stop it. Is meditation supposed to make you crazy? Now that would certainly defeat the purpose.

Pay attention and breathe. Think about nothing and focus on breathing. In and out.
Okay, this has got to be ten minutes. If not, close enough. I’ve made it through one day of meditation. What, three minutes? Three freaking minutes?
Okay, maybe I’ll shoot for five minutes today instead of ten. Close your eyes and breathe. In and out.

Now, wasn’t that relaxing?


dizzblnd said...

There is no right or wrong way to meditate. You might want to try puting some soft music on though. Make sure, if you have any pets, that they cnan't get to you. They can sense your energy change and want to see whats up.

It is hard for me to clear my mind too. You will get the hang of it, just don't give up.. it is VERY benificial to your sanity (or lack thereof)

Call Me Cate said...

I've downloaded a couple of podcasts that sort of lead you through the process. Or at least, they lead ME through the process. You can't hear them. Umm, nevermind. But I usually listen to them in bed before I go to sleep to quiet my mind. I don't know if the meditating helps or if I just get bored but I do sleep afterwards!

(And yeah, my internal dialog goes about like that too.)

The Rambler said...


Would be doing the same thing. I'd be sweating the whole 5 minutes.

MarjnHomer said...

If I were you, I would just keep a pen and paper near by and dump your thoughts there BEFORE starting to meditate.

Snarky A. said...

I'm laughing so hard I'm almost crying right now! That sounds just like what my head sounds like when I try to meditate!
Ha ha, freaking fabulous post! FABULOUS!

C. Beth said...


Jeanne said...

I read a book on Zen Buddhism once that described the undisciplined mind as being like a monkey, chattering and climbing and doing whatever it likes. You would not, the book said severely, allow an animal like that into your life, would you? Then why do you allow your mind to be like that.

Since then, I just make it a point to keep bananas on hand.

Isabella said...

Wow...I'm just double-checking that you aren't a long-lost sister of mine or something. ;) This is SO me.

I was pretty good at meditation in high school (we used to do it before a show in theatre), but it was led by our director. Now, if I'm able to quiet my mind like that, I expend so much mental energy that I fall asleep.