The Shyness Project

Trying to sit still: Learning how to meditate

I’ve been sick this past week or so, and this has made it more difficult for me to want to go out and try some new things.

So instead of going out and doing something, I decided to try something more low-key that I could do at home.

Meditation.

Now, I’ve never really tried meditating before.  At least, I’ve never tried it long enough to really consider it trying.  Usually when I attempt to sit and clear my thoughts I give up fairly quickly.  My thoughts run free and I have trouble keeping myself from getting distracted.

So I rented a DVD that helps beginners meditate.  I tried it out on a chilly Saturday morning when my family wasn’t home.

I wasn’t sure if meditation would be for me or not because of my brief attempts in the past, but I decided to keep an open mind and give it a chance.  I’ve always been interested in meditation and admire those who can clear their minds to practice it.

The video had two hours of content, but I just decided to do thirty minutes of it.  As I watched the DVD, I felt calmer simply listening to the soft and soothing music that was playing in the background.  The instructor’s voice was slow and rhythmic and set a nice, peaceful tone.

I followed the instructions the best I could.  I crossed my legs, held my hands out index finger to thumb, and did all the breathing exercises instructed, as well as a few of the chants even.

I did better than I expected at keeping my mind clear.  At one point in the beginning though, where we were supposed to inhale thinking the word “sat” and exhale thinking the word “nam” for one minute, I couldn’t help but think “This is a really long minute…”.  I had to peek at the video to make sure I was still supposed to keep doing that exercise.

With time I realized that each of the meditation segments do feel like a long time and go against what I naturally feel is an ample amount of time to repeat an activity.  It’s hard to maintain simply inhaling and exhaling while thinking of just two words.

It was difficult to do some of the breathing exercises when I was sick though.  When we had to cover one nostril and breathe just from it, I had some trouble breathing.

But all in all I felt more peaceful afterward, and more calm and collected.  Meditation seems like it is a really helpful thing to learn when you want to reduce stress or anxiety, or simply want to slow down.  I would like to try it some more and think it’s a great thing to learn how to do.  If you have any experience with trying meditation, please feel free to share below in the comments!

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11 thoughts on “Trying to sit still: Learning how to meditate

  1. I have dropped in and out of yoga & meditation since I was about 19. It is a very demanding practice and I don’t think I stuck with it long enough each time to get any long term benefits, which is probably why I keep dropping out! But a few times I broke through that ‘mind wandering off all over the place, what’s that noise, am I doing it right, how much longer do I have to keep doing this’ and achieved a real calmness and that was wonderful. It just took a long time to get there, and I’m sure if I stuck with it, it would get easier and happen more often. Just this week I’ve started again and I really want to stick with it this time.

    • That’s great that you are starting again! I want to try it again sometime, maybe this Saturday when my parents are out of the house. 🙂 It is really hard to not let your mind wander, I agree. It feels like you’re doing the same thing for a long time and it takes a lot of mental endurance and patience. Thanks for writing!

  2. I’ve never tried meditation, but I guess I use a form of it when I’m not feeling well and I am trying to take my mind off the pain by focusing one thought or phrase….

  3. I remember one time when we were playing tennis together, you were having trouble serving. I started being a punk and sat down, chanting “Ohhmmmmmm” over and over. You double-faulted 4 times in a row after that, and I felt bad. But then you took a deep breath, relaxed, and proceeded to kick my butt. I don’t know if you need to meditate, but when you focus, nothing can stop you!

  4. Good luck, Brittany! I can’t sit still long enough to mediatate!

  5. I learned how to meditate…but I needed support in learning to be patient about it. I was very lucky that someone who helps people with meditating/calming the mind just kind of appeared in my life. Do I remember something about you living in the SF Bay Area? That person who helped me will be here in the Berkeley area in February and March and is always happy to help anyone in any manner…. let me know if you are from this area and would like to check that out…it’s really easy with support…nothing about him to be the least bit hesitant about…as kind and nurturing a person as I’ve ever known in my entire life… : )

    • Yep I live in the bay area. That’s cool that you found someone who was able to be a good mentor for you for this. I may try it some more sometime though for now I will probably just stick with trying a DVD here and there. I think what calms me the most is just exercising and writing out thoughts. At some point I’d probably try yoga and meditating more though. Thanks for the info! 🙂

  6. hello,

    good thought ! Peace of mind, the most valuable gift

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