How To Meditate Like A Ninja – Even If You Hate Meditation
Anyone who knows me knows I hate meditating. I have been unsuccessful at meditation for so many years that we keep breaking up because I don’t enjoy it. Let’s face it, the idea of sitting in contemplative quietude is hard! Sitting and meditating is painful for this monkey brain. Hence, my old idea: I am not good at meditation.
I advocate for prayer a lot. I like to pray. I think I am good at praying. I even wrote a blog post beseeching all of us to pray about the coronavirus and how prayer could help our psyches find peace. Here’s the link: https://spirituallens.com/how-to-find-power-in-a-powerless-time/
I don’t mind prayer one bit. But meditation? No way!
And yet, like a boomerang, I keep coming back to meditation. I attempt it and then I stop. Or I try for a few days and then I stop. In most things I undertake (exercise, consistent writing, showing up on time) I am sure and steady. I can show up when I have to do so. With meditation, I have excuses, reasons, am resistant to practicing it on a consistent basis. I even bought some CD series a few years back to help me meditate. Pema Chodron is amazing and I found this to be helpful. I liked this series but not enough to stay with it, so I gave it away. For a beginning meditator, it is a great program. https://pemachodronfoundation.org/product/how-to-meditate-audio-cds/
Then the universe conspired against me… a good friend asked me to join her in an online class about spirituality. Oh, by the way, it had some journaling. Wait, there were also some questions with prompts we’d have to answer. She may have neglected to mention (or I didn’t hear about) some meditation exercises we’d have to do. The worst part? I had to commit to daily meditation throughout the duration of the class. When and how did they slip that part in there and how did I miss it? Duped for sure!
Okay, I wasn’t duped. That same week I agreed to take this class, I was faced with meditation at every turn. Every article I read was about meditation. Even my breakfast cereal box talked about meditation. (Okay, that’s not true, but it sure felt that way!)
Please know, these are confessions of a reluctant meditator. I told my spiritual advisor that the only reason I was doing this was to prove that it would not work for me. She laughed, patted me on the head, and told me to “keep coming back.” If that is what it took for me to meditate then I should stay with it. Either I will be right or wrong and my life will transform either way.
I thought I would give you a few pointers I have learned in the short period I have been meditating.
- Start small and don’t increase to too much too soon. This is a lesson I learned while training for a triathlon last summer. Most new athletes over-train, doing too much too soon, to their detriment. I started with 5 minutes a day for a week. Then I added a few minutes each week and am now up to 11 minutes daily. My goal is to reach an hour of meditation daily but if it takes me a year to do so that’s okay. The length of time is not what is important.
- The fact that we show up on a daily basis is the goal. Consistency is key. Meditation can be done at any time of day. If you realize you forgot to meditate, take a few minutes right then and there and do it.
- You can meditate while sitting, laying down, or walking. There is no way to do it wrong unless it is causing you pain. I used to rationalize that it was painful so I got to stop. I think I had stopped trying too soon. What I am learning now is that what I perceive is painful is coming right before the breakthrough occurs! So if there is anything I can give you – it’s be patient and consistent with your practice.
- The last point is to have great compassion for yourself while meditating. The fact that you are even showing up is victory! If you have crazy thoughts while you meditate, that is normal in every way. I used to think I was a bit crazy because weird (uncomfortable) thoughts and images came up for me during meditation. Today I have learned to sit with them and not judge them. They can happen or ’be’ and I will be okay. So will you. That is all part of the process.
What benefit will we get from this meditation practice? I hope that, in time, we will all be ninja meditators.
The benefits of meditation include:
- Cutting through negative thoughts.
- Slashing anxiety
- Bringing greater insight to the subconscious mind
For now I am in the trenches doing the footwork. I don’t know yet how it will all work out. My hope is to share this meditation journey, inviting you into the discomfort with me! In closing, I will share an amended version of the bone marrow cleansing meditation. I learned this from Ken Cohen, who teaches Qi Gong meditation. This was helpful when I was going through infertility treatment. Ken Cohen’s Qi Gong meditation instruction: https://www.qigonginstitute.org/category/103/ken-cohen-the-way-of-qigong
My Adaptation of the Bone Marrow Cleansing Meditation:
Sitting quietly on a chair, allow yourself to sit with your feet planted firmly on the floor. Keep your neck relaxed and supple, your hands on your legs and your eyes closed or open and soft. Feel the top of your head open to bright, white light pouring down from heaven. The white light is steadily entering your body, coursing gently through your bones, cleaning out all toxins from the marrow of your bones. Feel the toxins being pushed out of your marrow and replaced by this healing, white light displacing it while you sit. The toxins are leaving your body through your feet, entering into the earth and nourishing the earth in the form of compost of unneeded toxin from your body. Feel every negative thought, word or action leave your body. Feel it be replaced with healing, healthy cells inside your marrow. The white light is God’s love and healing. Allow it to course through your body until your body is filled with healing and love. Sit quietly, letting everything inside your body relax and rejuvenate. You are full of love and light, God is present inside and around you. When you are ready, open your eyes and feel the energy emanating from your soul. Feel how alive you are and give thanks for the opportunity to heal.
May you be blessed on your meditation journey!