Are you at a loss to explain your failed weight loss?
I’m no Meditation teacher.
Nor have I studied Meditation.
I’ve just been ‘around’ for a while now, and as such, have seen and done a bunch of living.
So, I’m simply sharing what I’ve found works for me, and what I advise my busy-brained clients to do — if like me, they aren’t interested in learning meditation on an in-depth basis.
This blog-post is therefore based on my own personal interpretation of meditation, and what I believe is an easy way to meditate.
The reason why I devised a number of methods to help me meditate is purely because I possess a ‘monkey brain’, and simply cannot meditate ‘like a normal person’ for more than a few moments.
Allow me to demonstrate…
THis is my internal dialogue as i try to meditate:
Close your eyes.
Focus on your breathing…
Focus on your breathing…
My breathing feels quite restricted…
Oops – all of that was me thinking…
[Giggle]… Silly Lisa!
Back to breathing…
It’s really quite hard work breathing properly.
Unless of course I’m NOT breathing properly?!
Should I be counting the length of my breaths?
But, what kind of breathing should I be doing?
Should I ‘box’ breathe?
Or, should I breathe out longer than I breathe in?
Should I be breathing in through my nose, and out through my mouth?
Maybe I should be breathing in one nostril and out the other?
Oops, I’ve actually stopped breathing now…
Breathe, Lisa. Breathe. Just breathe.
Bloody hell this meditation stuff sure does make you feel anxious…
I can’t even breath ‘proper’…
Oops! I’ve stopped breathing AGAIN.
Yeah, I’m doing it!
Oops — nope!
No — I’m not!
It’s actually highly possible that I’m now Hyperventilating…
Yup, I’m definitely feeling woozy 🤪
I think that’s probably enough meditation for one day…
Clearly, I never get to the ‘good bit’ doing it this way.
And, yes, I have tried (although, to be honest, probably not to the best of my ability) those meditative practices where you stare at a flickering flame, or focus on the sound of the air-conditioning unit. These methods unfortunately don’t appeal to me as they feel like I’m ‘watching paint dry’ (i.e. boring as bat-poo).
If I’m to meditate then it’s going to have to be in a decidedly more interesting & entertaining fashion in order to hold MY attention for any length of time.
Rather than give-up, I simply decided to modify my method, and to meditate to the beat of my own gong… 👊
Wikipedia says Meditation is:
“A practice where an individual uses a technique — such as mindfulness, or focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity — to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.”
I used to love going there (!) and sitting at a table amongst all the Hub-Bub — the people, all the chattering, the comings-and-goings, the various sounds required to make an espresso coffee, the cash registers clanging, the EFTPOS machines beeping, the music, and the intoxicating coffee smell and taste.
It used to completely overwhelm my senses — but because none of it had anything to do with me, my brain didn’t actually need to make ‘sense’ of it all.
I find chaos rather peaceful.
It all became one big background ‘noise’ which enabled me to fully concentrate on whatever task I decided to perform there — e.g. study, coming up with ideas etc.
Note: Apparently when I was a baby I slept best when the house was super noisey… Silence, to this day, kinda freaks me out. It doesn’t seem very balanced or blended to me. It just seems eery.😛
To me, meditation is anything that slows you and your brain down long enough that you become aware of the thoughts that you are thinking. At this point you can literally choose how you respond to these thoughts.
If you don’t emote the thought, rather you just observe it, it will simply disappear… as if you’ve popped your ‘thought bubble’ with a pin.
However, if you decide to assign that thought a meaning, and therefore emote it, then you will start feeling a particular way — either good or bad.
If the thought that has popped into your head feels good, then keep thinking these thoughts, and feeling these emotions! To me, this is perfectly acceptable ‘meditation’.
However, if you feel bad when the thought pops into your head, then you need to literally shake-that-shit-off and start again…
Note: You’ll know you’re having a bad thought when you start to feel tension, nervousness or resistance in your body e.g. your shoulders start to rise, or you feel something heavy or dragging in your gut or heart regions.
I believe you can meditate in a variety of fashions. You just decide what suits you. And, you can decide what suits you on any particular day.
This one is my favourite — it’s an easy way to meditate, which I’ll share with you now.
I call it: Sensory Overload
Go outside and just take it all in.
You can do this anywhere — and I should know, as I live in a semi-industrial area. Our place is adjacent to a busy main road in inner Auckland, and we are essentially surrounded by two car-yards/car-maintenance businesses.
Sit or stand in a comfortable position and simply take in everything with all your senses — one by one.
Then, think about how all the separate parts come together to create the ‘whole’.
Note: Yes, it has to be outside – I insist. This is because you can’t control anything when you’re outside, thus making it a perfect ‘training ground’.
Cars, buildings, birds, powerline poles, people, scooters, bikes, roads, signs etc.
Then take this another step further:
What is close to me? What is far from me?
What’s up high? What’s down low?
What’s moving? What’s still?
What’s hard? What’s soft?
How many different textures can I see? (Concrete, wood, grass.)
What’s green? How many shades of green can I see? What other colours can I see?
Then, try to see everything as one.
(This can be easier to do with your eyes closed.)
Cars, birds, people, motorbikes, machinery etc.
Note: Don’t focus on any one thing as you’ll find this annoying or distracting.
Then, try to hear everything as one.
(This can be easier to do with your eyes closed.)
My clothes against my skin.
The porch underneath my feet…or butt.
The sun on my face.
The wind on my cheek.
The cold against my nipples…
Whatever, really 😉
Then, try to feel everything as one.
Cooking, chemicals, flowers, trash, incense…
Then, try to smell everything as one.
Breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack, a coffee or liquorice tea, peppermint toothpaste.
Note: This can also double as what you can smell.
Then, try to taste everything as one.
Keep changing your focus between your five senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste) and taking it all in as a whole. You’re just observing here — not labelling, or judging anything.
Note: When you’re able to do this, to immerse yourself in your senses, you feel like you’re a part of it all – yet separate; your own special entity in amongst many other entities.
This can be as far as you choose to go, however, you can take this to the next level by doing the following step…
Now that your internal ‘jibber jabber’ has taken a back-seat, and the real you has jumped into the drivers-seat… Pick a point in front of you — something stationery — and just stare it down.
When you stare at something, because you’re not moving your eyes around, you literally can’t think of anything bar what’s in front of you, and what you’re doing in the moment.
(Go on, give it a try — prove me wrong! 😉)
Note: I guess that’s why the traditional way of meditating is staring at a flickering candle, or the like.
This centres you so that you can just observe how you are feeling in the moment — which is all that really exists, anyway. (You should find that you feel ‘neutral’ or as if you’re bristling, or maybe even surging, with power.)
Thus, you become firmly anchored in the elusive ‘now’. When you’re ‘here’, bad thoughts and bad EMOTIONS don’t really come to you. And, if they do, they are easily spotted and corrected by letting go of them.
Then, to keep you on track — if you start getting ‘speed wobbles’ — you can simply fall back alternating between all your senses and what they perceive as a whole.
Note: Doing this gives my brain enough to work on that I don’t have time to think of anything else.
It’s quite simple, really.
You just have to set aside a few minutes daily to meditate (say, 5—15 mins), and just do what feels right for you; in regards to the amount of time spent practising, and to the type of meditation that best suits you.
And, rather than forcing yourself to concentrate your attention and awareness, instead look forward to giving yourself permission to take some much needed time-off to just do nothing — and to not have to think about anything.
Eventually it will become something that you naturally do throughout your day, whereever and whenever you need to firmly establish yourself in ‘the now’ — in order to slow everything down around you and to sharpen your ‘spidy senses’.
You literally can’t have an emotion without thinking a thought.
You can, however, have a feeling without thinking a thought.
This is because a feeling is subconscious e.g. I’m tired/I’m hungry/I’m cold/I’m uncomfortable — which then requires a thought to interpret the sensation.
To this end:
Emotions are — (reactive) guidance, and
Feelings are — impulses to act.
If you’re indeed interested, please let me know by commenting below 🙌
Until then, you might like to read this blog-post?
How I find walking a good way to meditate.
Lisa Fitzgibbon is a degree qualified (2006), experienced and registered Naturopath & Medical Herbalist. She runs her own private practice – OOMPH in Grey Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand.
Lisa has been involved in the Natural Health industry for 16 years. She draws on her professional training and experience, as well as her own personal experience to bring you realistic, holistic health advice.Book online