When I was recovering from surgery in 2008, I had an urgent need for simple practices that would help with my healing. One of the practices I experimented with was meditation.
Meditation can be a lot harder, and a lot more complicated, than it seems. I think it is common for people to experience frustration when we try to meditate, thinking there is a “right” or “wrong” way to do it. Can’t get your mind quiet enough? Can’t sit still without stretching your leg or scratching your butt? Forgot how many times you were supposed to count your breath? I know I’m not likely to keep trying to do something if I feel like I’m always doing it wrong.
So I took a different approach to meditation. I started practicing by just setting a timer for 10 minutes and sitting quietly for those 10 minutes. Whatever my mind chose to do with that time would be perfectly okay. Sometimes I would visualize healing energy running through my body. Sometimes I would sing myself songs in my head. Sometimes I would fall asleep. Sometimes I would count, or focus on my breath. Those 10 minutes were ALL MINE. I could do WHATEVER I WANTED.
As my recovery progressed, I discovered something really interesting. I could do this anywhere, anytime! If I were out in public, I could slip into a bathroom or in my car, and set my timer for 10 minutes. If I were doing something unpleasant and needed a break, I could take 10 minutes and go meditate. If I had 15 minutes of downtime with nothing to do, I could set my timer and meditate. Anytime, anyplace, I could find a way to get 10 minutes to myself and meditate! And nobody ever had to know what I was doing!
Is this something that would be useful for you? Do you have a meditation practice that you use? What have you found challenging or frustrating about meditation? What do you most enjoy about practicing meditation?