So...I'm a bit Type A. I'm driven, a Capricorn, competitive, an only child daughter of a dad that wanted a son. Therefore, if you tell me to meditate, it just isn't going to work. I do hip hop and flying trapeze to relax, so to have me sit on a pillow and quiet my mind and still my body, I stilly and quietly lose my mind. I find it stressful. My to do list runs through my head, everything suddenly cramps, my hair tickles my face and there is that itch...that itch that must be addressed. Every sound is magnified and I want to run around the room.
When I found myself studying stress at Harvard at the Benson Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine and they said we were going to meditate, I thought, "Oh crap!" We were going to learn the rules of meditation and I got ready. I mean, you have to sit a certain way on a pillow, and stick your tongue to the roof of your mouth, you hold your hands a certain way, breath from your stomach, roll your eyes up into your head and then you float away into a million bubbles, right? I thought so. I was wrong.
Their kind of meditation had just 2 rules.
TWO RULES?! That I might actually be able to do.
1. Concentrate on something repetitive.
2. If thoughts intrude (and they probably will), dismiss them without judgement.
WHAT? Just 2 rules. It can't be that simple. But it was. And it was called a mini meditation. The instructor asked who in the room meditated and me being in the front row (of course I was), I turned to look at the few hundred people behind me and a fair amount of hands were raised. She asked who thought they couldn't meditate and she looked directly at me. Stared actually, it was quite disturbing. It was as if I had a scarlet (type) A embroidered on my proudly worn Harvard t-shirt. I tentatively raised my hand and she nodded as if Buddha himself had told her who I was.
She explained to us those 2 rules I mentioned earlier and had us close our eyes. We concentrated on our breath, the rise and fall of our chest. And on the inhale were to think, "I am." and repeat with every inhale. And on the exhale, "at peace." and repeat that. So, "I am...at peace." And breathe in and out. We did this for about 5 minutes and when she told us to return to the room, I smiled and shook my head no. I finally opened my eyes and she was looking at me, so proud. A meditation convert. I have used the minis ever since.
I've taught them to millions, whether in person, on the radio or in articles I've participated in. (click here for guided instruction) And if I can do it...seriously folks, you can too. Minis stop the stress response that is so detrimental to our health. Bring us back to the present moment, slow our heart and respiratory rate, lower our blood pressure, ready our brains for higher functioning, help digestion and boosts the immune system. I can think of nothing simpler to improve our health.
Give them a shot. I realized though there is certainly a traditional way to meditate, there is no wrong way if it works for you.
And I say good night from my little round pillow. Namaste!
Hi and welcome to my blog. I've been involved in natural health for over two decades and I've had the privilege of sharing my wellness knowledge with millions of people. And I look forward to sharing my knowledge here with you. Some of these posts will be education, some entertaining and some touching. But my intention is that you will walk away from every one with some insight into your own life, inspired to make a small change that will lead you to better health. Thanks for joining and please let me know how I can help you in your journey to improved health.