A Guide to Meditation for People Who Hate Meditating
A few years ago, when I told my cousin I’d been diagnosed with high blood pressure, she suggested I try meditation. I was wary, immediately imagining Tibetan monks sitting in complete solitude. I’ve always been a person who needs to be doing something. (And I was raising two kids under three years old — by nature, I always had to be doing something just to stay afloat.) The thought of just sitting there, breathing deeply, made me twitch.
But for health reasons, I was curious, so I gave it a try. I sat down, closed my eyes, and meditated.
During those minutes, which felt like hours, I went through my to-do list. I worried about bills. I felt an itch on the tip of my nose and willed myself not to scratch it. I remembered past events and felt a deep sense of regret. I fantasized about a different future. I wondered what time it was and how much longer I could do this without peeking at my watch. When it was finally over, I felt frustrated and wondered whether the experience helped me in any way whatsoever.
Maybe you’ve had a similar encounter with meditation. Maybe you’ve declared it “not for you.” I’ll say that the second and third and fourth time I meditated, I didn’t see much improvement. But I kept at it. And something happened when I started talking to meditation coaches. Over time, my practice started helping me find peace in even the most chaotic moments. It gave my life an anchor that hasn’t been matched by anything else. I simply needed to understand what meditation really is — and what it isn’t.
If you’re a fellow meditation skeptic, perhaps I can dispel some common myths about it.
Myth: You must sit in a specific position
The most important thing about your meditation position is comfort. You should be relaxed, yet able to remain alert. That’s it. So you could be sitting in a chair, perched cross-legged on the floor, lying down, or standing up. Experiment with what feels most natural.
Myth: You must be perfectly still
Sure, you want to limit your movement while meditating, but that’s just a guideline…