Print Story Meditation
Wizards and Hobbits
By toxicfur (Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:49:45 PM EST) (all tags)
I fail it.

My primary care provider, as I wrote recently, suggested I start meditating to help with my anxiety. I should aim for 20 minutes a day, but 10 minute chunks were acceptable. I decided I could use the time between when I get home (between 5:30 and 6) and when ana gets home (around 6:30) as a nice quiet time free of distractions.



It all sounded good in theory, and yeah, I know it takes practice, but perhaps I should start meditating someplace quieter than my living room, like, say, the subway, or a bar during a Red Sox game.

Yesterday was Day 1. I set my iPod touch to chirp when 10 minutes was done. I settled myself into my recliner.

The phone rang. It was my brother telling me that Reese was out of the NICU and doing very well. I talked with him for 15 minutes or so and then I reset the timer and tried again.

My cell phone buzzed with a text message almost immediately. It was S, wanting to know how the baby was doing. I texted her back and tried again.

The phone rang. I didn't recognize the number, but the area code was the same as a good friend's cell phone. It was a chimney sweep. We don't have a chimney. I tried again.

The cat jumped into my lap and began to knead my stomach. At this point, I just kept going, trying not to flinch as his claws pricked at my navel.

Today was Day 2.

The phone rang, and it was a fax machine.

The phone rang again, and it was a fax machine.

The phone rang again, and it was a fax machine.

The dogs exploded off the couch to let me know that a squirrel was in the yard.

The cat jumped in my lap and began to work in the tension in my forearm. When that didn't get my attention, he headbutted my chin.

Then I apparently dozed off, and awoke when the crickets in my iPod began to chirp.

Meditation: I fail it.

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Meditation | 28 comments (28 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
+1 nap by ana (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:52:00 PM EST
You'll figure it out. Actually the white noise of the subway might make it a good place to do this.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

IAWTP by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #10 Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:42:50 PM EST
except just try to find a spot without track squeals and buskers.
--
[ Parent ]
Or people yapping on their phones. by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #12 Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:58:03 PM EST
The Orange Line has cell phone coverage through the tunnels. Still, ana has a point.
--
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
This, I think, is a good idea. by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 06:56:38 PM EST
I should be doing this.

This is a clue by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 4) #3 Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:34:32 PM EST
You can't find 10 minutes to sit and meditate, and you wonder why you're suffering from anxiety.  I think this is more of an example why you need to meditate instead of your failing anything.

I need to start doing yoga again, but I can't find the time.  The only available time I could probably carve out is between 8-9pm Sunday-Thursday, but that's the only time I have to sew.  I have not yet been able to give up even a single evening of sewing for yoga.  This is a problem.  I'm trying re-evaluate just about everything in my life in an effort to Get Things Done, but I'm not doing a very good job.

Turn off the phones, and keep trying.  You'll get there!

10 minues. by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #13 Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:03:50 PM EST
I have ten minutes, most days. I just don't often use them well. It's true, though, that I feel entirely overscheduled most weeks. I'm at work, where I'm around people constantly, from 9-4:30ish, then I come home, take care of the dogs, chill for a minute, make dinner, hang out with ana. Then on the weekends, it's errands and church and housework and yardwork. Somewhere in there, I try to find some time to write, or watch tv, or read, or play video games or something. I could certainly find more time to sit and meditate.

I really want to get back to yoga classes, though. The schedule at the studio changed, and my work schedule became tighter, and I haven't been back in months. I do feel better when I get there. Thanks for the encouragement, and good luck to you! You've got far more challenges than I do, so hang in there!

--
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
meditate + something might work ok by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #22 Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 10:12:17 AM EST
ie. your yoga idea. In my spare 10 mins, if I aim for meditate, I miss and hit obsess. If I aim for 'concentrate on something phyiscal', there's less left over for obsess.


[ Parent ]
That's a long time by lm (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:39:10 PM EST
Personally I would start with two to five minutes and try to work my way up.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
I thought of that. by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #14 Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:06:11 PM EST
But I think getting accustomed to sitting still for 10 minutes, even if I'm not focused the entire 10 minutes, is a good thing for me. My mind is going to be wandering the entire time regardless, at this point, but I'm getting in the habit of closing my eyes and asking myself to refocus each time I get off track. If I were getting really frustrated with the meditation itself, and not the inability of the outside world to leave me alone, then I'd rethink my strategy, though.
--
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
I certainly don't disagree by lm (4.00 / 1) #19 Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 08:14:51 AM EST
My point is more along the lines that "set aside 10 minutes" sounds harder than "set aside 2 minutes." But once you get used to setting aside 2 minutes, it's easy to set aside 3 or 4. And once used to that, it's easy to set aside 5 or 6. And eventually, you're setting aside half an hour without even thinking about it.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
room alone. by clock (4.00 / 1) #5 Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:45:01 PM EST
door closed.  phone in the off position.  just like when i'm in the studio.  it's the only way to go.

good luck!


I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

What he said. by nightflameblue (4.00 / 1) #20 Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 08:25:48 AM EST
Especially about the phone. I think a lot of folks let themselves get bullied by life into never shutting off. It's somehow considered a cardinal sin to dare shut off the electronic control device. Two times a day mine is firmly shut the hell down.
  1. When I'm on the bike (motorized or otherwise) or driving a car.
  2. When I work in my room.

I would go completely insane like my boss if I didn't occassionally shut the world out. I don't think I've ever seen him go more than thirty seconds without having to text/email/talk to someone on his, even during supposedly focused meetings. That type of thing is not for me at all.



[ Parent ]
your environment fails it by MillMan (4.00 / 1) #6 Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:48:52 PM EST
not you.

"Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are no libertarians in financial crises." -Krugman

in fairness by dev trash (4.00 / 3) #7 Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 07:55:33 PM EST

The dogs exploded off the couch to let me know that a squirrel was in the yard.

That damn squirrel was told BEFORE to stay out of the yard.

--
Click

They would agree with you. by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #15 Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:08:00 PM EST
They've told the squirrels again and again and again to stay out of their yard. The Jack Russell tried to climb the dogwood after a squirrel the other day, just to tell him eye-to-eye.
--
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by xth (4.00 / 1) #8 Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:18:39 PM EST

This comment has been deleted by xth



Why meditate when you have a cat to stroke? by Alan Crowe (4.00 / 2) #9 Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:24:18 PM EST
Play with the cat. Ping-pong ball back spin, mouse under the rug, etc. And stroke him; try to stroke up a nice loud, soothing purr.

Well, we all know how contrary cats can be. You are trying to pet away your anxieties, he is feeling like killing something and wants to hunt in the yard. He wanders off, you get to meditate unkneaded and unclawed.

I have happy memories of my cat, Haymarket, going along with my meditation practise. Somedays I would sit cross legged and he would come and lie in front of me with his back against my outer shin, warm and fluffy. I think he was three years old when I learned to meditate. Is your cat younger and less chilled out?

My cat is nearly 3 now, I think. by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #17 Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:11:27 PM EST
He was a stray, so we're estimating his age. He's very affectionate, and was happy to stay in my lap while I meditated. Once he stops kneading, he's fine. And, except for the wildlife he brings inside, he's very much a comfort.
--
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
Get out of the house by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #11 Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 08:43:49 PM EST
You live in the suburbs. Surely you have a treehouse.
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He's right. by muchagecko (4.00 / 1) #23 Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 12:07:38 PM EST
A park bench or a chair in the backyard is perfect for meditation.

I wish I didn't live in such a crowded apartment complex. I miss meditating outside.


A purpose gives you a reason to wake up every morning.
So a purpose is like a box of powdered donut holes?
Exactly
My Name is Earl

[ Parent ]
A friend of mine by ana (4.00 / 1) #16 Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:09:12 PM EST
who had a house in Dorchester, built a room he called his Oratory in his attic, furnished like a small chapel. We have a couple of upper rooms (if you don't mind hopping the dog fence and stepping over the catboxes to get there).

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

IAWTP by clock (4.00 / 1) #18 Wed Jun 09, 2010 at 09:38:00 PM EST
A+++++ idea!


I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Are you meditating yet? by mrgoat (4.00 / 5) #21 Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 09:24:37 AM EST
Are you meditating yet?

Are you meditating yet?

Are you meditating yet?

Are you meditating yet?

How about now?

Are you meditating yet?

Are you meditating yet?

Hi.

--top hat--

GET OUT OF MY MIND!!!!! by MillMan (4.00 / 1) #24 Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 02:01:48 PM EST

"Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are no libertarians in financial crises." -Krugman

[ Parent ]
Meditation: I fail it too. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #25 Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 02:20:55 PM EST
At least the sitting quietly going "OOOM" stuff. There's a class I went to, with these guys, for about 6 months. I found that either my head takes off at warp nine and just keeps getting faster with more and more voices competing for attention, or I fall asleep and start snoring. Neither of which is meditation.

I find a nice 3 mile walk does the trick. Or surfing.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Addenda: by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #26 Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 02:24:53 PM EST
Chuckles head would explode in that place. I just ignored the politics and tried to find Inner Peace.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Same here. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #27 Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 04:20:42 PM EST
I just fall asleep when I try it.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Meditation doesn't have to be OMMMMMM by fluffy (2.00 / 0) #28 Thu Jun 10, 2010 at 06:46:26 PM EST
Any sort of deep self-hypnotic state will do.  I like online Tetris.  YMMV.
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Meditation | 28 comments (28 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback