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meditation mondays: what to do when your mind just won’t shut down

9 Feb 2015

i love my morning meditation time. i think that it became something very important, something that i can’t live without, some time last fall. throughout 2014 i did some meditation series, usually 3 weeks or so at a time. but, this fall, after one of those series was done, i kept going on my own. i searched the internet for different websites that had free mediations, and i streamed them, letting them guide me and lead me in this practice that before i have never really been good at.

currently, my apartment doesn’t have internet – and last week i kinda freaked out about that. how would my meditation practice survive? what would i do when left totally on my own? well, when you don’t have access to the internet, or your own books, or much of anything but silence, it’s amazing what you will create for yourself. another reason why simplicity is a good thing – it forces you to be slow down + be creative.

me-meditation

so, i opened up my computer to see what i might have already downloaded in iTunes. well, that was a big nothing. then i looked at my kindle. turns out, i had downloaded a book years ago with different practices of prayer – but, not prayer like you think. it’s more like contemplation and meditation. an eastern view of connecting with the divine. well, that was right up my alley. so, i decided i’d read one practice a day, and do the exercises at the end of each section as my daily meditation practice.

turns out the exercises are not that complicated + don’t take much time, but i have been trying them anyway. and guess what? i’ve found myself just sitting. eyes closed. in complete silence. thinking sometimes, not thinking others. breathing. chanting. being. i’ve found a new meditation groove. one that i am doing completely on my on. (it takes about 2 minutes to read the little section of the day, and then i’m left on my own to sit). and i’m meditating about 20-30 minutes. soooooo amazing. i never knew that the true, true silence (in the past i’ve always had a voice or some music accompanying me) could be so fulfilling.

but, what to do when my mind wanders and thinks and analyzes and pays attention to every little thing except calming down? well, i have a tip – that came from my little kindle book.

imagine that you are a man standing at a window watching all of your thoughts go by.

silly, huh? but, i tried it. and you know what? it was freeing. i did not reprimand myself for the random thoughts that came to mind as i (tried to) meditate. but, i did it a bit different. in my mind i imagined that i was watching myself as i stood at a window, and that my thoughts came by from right to left, like a parade. each though was a different float in the parade. and, stupid as it sounds, what that did was free me up to see the thought, ackowledge it, and then let it pass. usually another thought was right behind it, but sometimes there as a little silent break. a gap. and that gap is that coveted, amazing mediation moment of nothingness.

so, if you are into meditating, then give the parade thing a try. see what happens. and let me know how it goes. maybe it will be good for you, maybe it won’t. but it doesn’t hurt to try.

and remember this: do not reprimand yourself for having thoughts that interrupt your meditaion. do not get mad at yourself if your mind never settles down. it happens to all of us, and it doesn’t mean that you cannot meditate. but, keep practicing, keep watching your thoughts, as i am, to become someone who can let go and settle your mind. that’s my goal. and, it takes time. but, i think i’m getting better.

onwards + upwards! xoxo

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6 Comments

  • Reply Jacque 9 Feb 2015 at 16:46

    I do not meditate but often have trouble relaxing or falling asleep at night. My mind just keeps turning and will not stop (it does this anytime I am not actively engaged in somrthing else) I’m going to try this and see if it works for me. Thanks

    • Reply Liz 11 Feb 2015 at 16:26

      I hope that it helps a bit, Jacque.

  • Reply Andrea 9 Feb 2015 at 21:27

    Nice post! I like to picture putting thoughts into a stream and they float away.

    • Reply Liz 11 Feb 2015 at 16:26

      Oh, what a fantastic image! I love it, Andrea! I am most definitely going to try it. xoxo

  • Reply Holly 9 Feb 2015 at 21:40

    I think that’s the thing with meditation, people always screw themselves up thinking they have to tune out! Tuning out isn’t that simple always… the key I think is to just let the interruptions, come in and come out… not get too stuck on them. In time they slow… kinda anyway 😉

    • Reply Liz 11 Feb 2015 at 16:25

      Oh, you are so right! I completely agree. Once I let myself off the hook from being perfect, I began to feel much more calm. 🙂

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