I’ve always struggled with how to meditate properly. Do you?
It’s one of those things that annoying people like Miranda Kerr bang on about and you just want to punch them in their glamorous chipmunk face, am I right?
But recently, I cracked it. I’ve been meditating for 10 minutes every morning and I tell you, I am a changed woman. And I’m going to be an annoying fucker now and tell you how calming and amazing it is and that you should bloody do it too.
But here’s the best bit: it’s easier than I ever used to think it was. And I reckon it’s easier than you think too.
Here’s why. A couple of months ago, I watched a TED Talk (how did we learn anything before TED Talks came along??) by a dude called Andy Puddicombe. Andy runs a website you might have heard of called Headspace – touted as a ‘gym membership for the mind’.
The gist of the presentation that really struck a chord for me was that you don’t need to clear your mind to meditate. You know how you’re supposed to empty your mind and focus on your breathing and all that? Sometimes you might chant a mantra, or listen to a guided meditation, or listen to a Buddhist monk ringing a seven-century old bell from the foothills of the Himalayas. Yeah, well that’s all super, and I’m not saying you shouldn’t do that.
What I am saying is that every time I went to meditate with that in mind, I resisted like buggery. I thought of all that grout in the bathroom that needed cleaning, those piles of clothes that needed folding, and all that Lego that the kids wanted me to play with them. (Just kidding, I never do any of those things.)
But what Andy was saying was that you allow thoughts to come in and out of your head as you meditate, and you observe them, but you don’t hold onto them. Does that make sense?
This sounded much easier than clearing my mind so I tried it. The first day I did it, I started with five minutes. I observed my thoughts, and I came up with three solutions to problems I’d been wrestling with. Tick!
The next day I tried seven minutes, and a similar thing happened. I was starting to see what everyone was seeing in this caper.
Now, it’s been about a month, and I’ve been meditating for 10 minutes every morning. Sometimes I problem solve, and sometimes I do achieve that clear head that I used to aspire to. But the fact that it’s not a requirement or expectation makes it much less stressful.
The other thing is that I can now meditate anywhere. Sometimes I do it standing up in the middle of a bushwalk. Sometimes I do it in the footy stands at my local sporting field after a run. Sometimes I do it on my front steps. I don’t contort myself into a pretzel mating with a praying mantis. I don’t wear a $2000 meditation unitard. I don’t look like Sarah Wilson while I’m doing it.
But I tell you what, I feel fucking amazing. No shit.
Please try it for a week. I reckon you’ll like it too.
Are you game to try meditating like this?