#18 – Meditate

How many times in a day, week, month, or year do you take the time to just sit by yourself and focus on nothing but simple relaxation? Masturbation aside, of course. I don’t think that I ever do that. Even when I’m sleeping, my dreams are somewhat connected to the tasks, goals, and problems I have going on in my life. And when I’m relaxing, TV is usually involved.

Those circumstances are what garnered my interest in trying meditation. I have a lot going on in my life right now where it seems as though I am just going from one place to the next without any breaks in between tasks. I hadn’t tried meditation yet because I really don’t have the time in the day to take a long enough to break for it.

I really didn’t know what meditation entails other than sitting crossed legged on a pillow with your eyes closed. So, I Googled meditation and came across this article: http://www.wikihow.com/Meditate

I was immediately satisfied to find out that there are no hard stance rules regarding the practice. The article says there is no set time for meditation, which makes sense since the time to acquire relaxation differs for everyone. It also says that you can do it at any time of the day. I chose to do it at night, and only had about 10 minutes in my schedule.

The next step was to find a relaxing environment. The article suggests meditating outside, but since it was late and 43 degrees outside I didn’t think that was a good idea. I settled on my upstairs living room.

"Am I doing this right?"

The article then says to sit on level ground, or on a pillow on level ground. The important thing is to make sure your sitting up straight. It is not required to sit in the half lotus position or full lotus position, but I went with the half lotus position to experience some authenticity without pulling a hamstring.

Half Lotus

From that point it is important to relax your entire body, and to then focus on body parts that aren’t relaxing. At that point it’s time to clear your mind. The article suggests reciting a mantra or counting the number of your breaths. That seems similar to the tactic of counting sheep to fall asleep at night. That never worked for me at bedtime, and neither did counting the number of breaths I took. With each number all I saw was the equivalent number on my to-do list. I tried reciting the “om” mantra, but after a minute of that it turned from “om” to “um, why am I doing this?”

"What do I have to do after this exercise in futility?"

After focusing on just one thing like reciting a mantra or counting breaths the article says that it should be easy to then transition to focusing on nothing, which is supposed to be the ultimate sense of relaxation. Now, I don’t know who these people are who can simply focus on nothing, but I’m assuming they’re unemployed or ignorant, because I have way too much going on in my life to clear my head.

I felt kind of ridiculous sitting on a pillow in the middle of my living room with my eyes closed when I had so much work to do. Shutting off my brain is something I’ve never been able to do, so it wasn’t a surprise that my meditation attempt wasn’t fruitful.

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