How to Meditate – for lazy people

by Leonie Dawson on May 4, 2009

HOWTOMEDITATEFORLAZYPEOPLE

Hola gorgeous souls,

The inspiration for today’s post comes from two things:

meditating
and not meditating.

Ironic, I know.

How it happened..

This morning, I was curled up on the sun lounge outside with Charlie the Happy Healer Dog sleeping on my legs, doing our own little brand of brand of eyes-closed-enjoying-the-moment-space (otherwise known as meditation). And a little idea popped into my mind: You should let people (and yourself) know that meditation doesn’t have to be annoying.

It’s also inspired by the fact that I can go months without meditating. I will think randomly “I should really meditate sometime”, but when it comes down to it, I don’t. And as soon as I do meditate, I think HOLY MOLY I SHOULD REALLY DO THIS MORE OFTEN.

My thing is this – and I suspect I’m not the only one -
I know meditating is good for me, and yet I don’t do it.

So I’ve been working through how I can make meditating more fun for me to do.
So here’s the Goddess Leonie Happy Helpful Guide for Meditation for Lazy People.

Let me preface…

I’m not particularly lazy. In fact, I’m kind of a go-getter. I just don’t get around to meditating often. I know it’s helpful. I know it’s good for me. It’s also annoying some times, boring at other times and another thing on my too-big to do list.

And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one on this.

It’s not that we’re lazy. It’s just that we haven’t found the right way of doing it yet.

Here’s some ways to make meditation less annoying and more like a thing you might want to do.

Get dang comfortable

I started looking at things that annoyed me about meditation – the stuff that held me back from doing it.

And one of the annoying things was this:

I don’t like being uncomfortable.

I don’t think anyone does. And sitting cross-legged in lotus with a straight back and poised mudra fingers doesn’t spell comfortable to me. It spells pins and needles, sore butt and achy back. Maybe when I’m a woo-woo yoga guru master it won’t, but for right now, I’m not and it does.

So for me, it’s an exercise in getting comfy without falling asleep.

What this looks like to me is a comfy armchair inside, sunlounge on the back deck or leaning against a wall outside.

What comfy looks like to you might be totally different.

The lesson here is: meditating isn’t an exercise in feeling uncomfortable. It’s a place of rest, stillness and comfort for yourself. Get comfy.

Leonie’s What Works For Me Meditation

I’ve read books upon books on how to meditate. I have gone to so many meditation retreats and classes it’s not funny. I know the meditation routines. I know the old staring at a candle flame one. I know the stilling your mind thing. I know the nose-breathing-in-and-out thing. I know about making your own visualisation.

I also know that they feel like work (blerk). They feel like something I have to work at. It feels hard.
So this is my super-simple-and-not-so-secret way of meditating:

I take 100 breaths. I count them. I try not to think about anything else.

Yup. It’s revolutionary.

And it also really works for me. It gives my brain something to do (wee! counting!) while the rest of me is just hanging out, inadvertently meditating.

The lesson here is: There are so many ways you can meditate. Explore them to find a way that’s really really easy for you, and just do that.

The Meditationap

Careful. This one is complex.

Oh yes. It’s the love child of a meditation and a nap.

  1. Lie down on a bed, couch, sun lounge, or pile your (empty) bath with pillows and blankets.
  2. Close your eyes and do nothing.
  3. Maybe you’ll fall asleep. Maybe you’ll have zen inspiration. Maybe you’ll just happily float along. Either way, it will be sublime

My favourite meditationap consists of a sun lounge, a blanket, an afternoon and my ipod filled with lovely music. If ten day zen master meditation retreats consisted of this kind of meditating, I could totally do them!

Penelope’s alarm clock

If 100 breaths isn’t going to cut it for you, try what my friend Penelope talks about here. She sets a timer for 15 minutes. She meditates until the timer goes off. This way, she doesn’t have to wonder about how long it’s been, or how much longer she should meditate for. It’s like meditation on cruise-drive.

The lesson here is: Make your meditation as cruise-drivey as possible.

Faking it for ten breaths

When I really, really need to meditate, and I don’t feel like I have time, I make a little pact with myself. I say to myself:

Okay, we so don’t have to meditate for any pain-in-the-ass time at all. Let’s just do ten breaths.

And my logic brain says:

Ten breaths? You think I have time for ten breaths of meditation? Are you kidding me! I have stuff to do lady! We’re not on retreat you hippy!

And I say:

Oh. I know you’re really busy. I really feel like I need this. You and me. Besides, it’s only for ten breaths.

Logic brain:

Fine. But only ten. And I’m counting.

And then we do our ten breaths and it’s nice. And we either stop there because we feel like we’ve refreshed just enough, or we keep going for another ten or twenty because it just feels so good.

The lesson here is: Start with ten. Everyone has time for ten breaths. See what happens. It’s a little way of moving around resistances.

Making it a reward

Meditation should be fun and easy and feel good for you. Not excruciatingly boring or painful. Work out the thing about meditation that makes it really, really useful for you. Not a “I should meditate because everyone says so.” Not even an “I should meditate.”

Find a way that makes you think “I want to meditate.”

Here’s the meditation pay-off for me:

Whenever I take 100 breaths, it’s kind of boring for the first 59. But then I hit 60, and for the next ten seconds, it feels like nirvana. I don’t know if it’s a rush of oxygen to the head, or just because I finally relax then, but whatever it is, 60 is good. And it makes those 59 seconds before it so very, very worth it.

My little reward is my 60-second mind orgasm. Maybe I should call it as masm. :)

The lesson is: Find your personal cookie-treat from meditating. And keep remembering it. Use it as a reward for getting yourself there.

Help from guides

When I need extra help in meditating, I use CDs. They are like my own little personal guides into sweet-calm-space.

Try out different CDs, guides, and meditation techniques and see what works for you. And what works for you – make that the golden wisdom in your life. You are the best expert on you.

Here’s some different resources you can try out:

* My Divine Dreaming Meditation Kit. You don’t have to use this meditation to get to sleep – you can use it for 21 minutes of pure, rested bliss. Amen to that!

* Holosync. For years I saw their ads about meditating deeper than a zen monk. I thought it was ridiculously untrue and kind of stupid marketing. And then I actually tried their meditations. Yes, they are expensive. And yes, they really do work. When I’m really frazzled and can’t settle down, I pop on one of their tracks for thirty minutes. Every time, my mind slows down and gets into peaceful-calm-even-blissed out mode. By the end, I feel like I have been in a brain-spa. If you’ve got the dobleros and can ignore the tacky zen-monk marketing stuff, Holosync is incredible.

* Doreen Virtue’s Chakra Clearing Book + CD. I can always recommend Doreen’s work. This book and CD is beautiful, easy to use, and the CD meditation is lovely.

The big lesson here is…

The big, big thing I want to share with you from the post is this:

The reason you aren’t meditating right now is not because you are lazy. It’s because you haven’t found a way to meditate for you that is fun, easy and comfortable for you yet.

Find the way that does, and it’s much much easier.

Remove the annoying things from meditating. Try out all the different ways, resources and support you can find to make it as lovely an experience for you as possible.

And remember – you are the expert on you. Find the wonderful things that work for you, and ignore the rest.

There are 6 billion paths to bliss, and your path is your own. Make it a happy one.

Big love you,