Life has been a chaotic mess of work, family obligations, failed fitness routines, and unfinished books. Time to refocus the mind and body on the things that matter the most to me, time to begin again a meditation practice. The practice is simple. Routinizing it, prioritizing it, those are the hard things.
This is how I do it.
I set a timer, or a meditation app, for the desired amount of time. Right now, its ten minutes, soon fifteen, then twenty, then perhaps longer. If I don’t have time for ten minutes, I’ll do five. Something is always better than nothing at all.
I sit comfortably, in a chair, on a cushion, or on the floor. With my eyes open I take three or four deep breaths, in through the mouth, out through the nose. I set my attention to be present, to be here now.
I close my eyes and begin breathing normally again, in and out, in and out.
I attempt to notice the sounds around me without judgement or concern. There, a siren, there, a car. They’re just there. Neither helping or impeding my practice. Just there.
I perform a “body scan” wherein I start from my head and move down my body noticing its state. Does my shoulder hurt (it usually does) Is my back tight? My feet tired? I notice this aspects of my body. They’re just there. Neither helping or impeding my practice. Just there.
Then I try to focus on my breath. In and out, in and out. I count my breaths one on the in, two on the out, three on the in, four on the out, five on the in, six on the out, seven on the in, eight on the out, nine on the in, ten on the out.
My mind wanders, it always does. I get hung up on the car, or the ache in my shoulder. I don’t make it to ten breaths. I don’t make it to four.
As soon as I notice my mind wandering, I start again.
I do this, over and over until the timer goes off.
Almost always, I feel better afterward. I try to remember that feeling the next time I am making an excuse for not meditating. The process isn’t hard, remembering how important it can be is.