The longest minute in the world

For the past two weeks, I’ve been trying to meditate in the morning. One minute. That’s all I expect of myself, yet it remains so difficult! Up until a few days ago, I was just sitting for what I thought was a minute. I didn’t have a watch or a timer. This wasn’t working out so well, because I spent the whole time asking myself “Has it been one minute yet?”

So I borrowed a timer from work and set it for one minute. It makes a little beeping sound when the minute is up. I set it, sat down on my pillow, closed my eyes and tried to focus on my breathing.

Inhale. Exhale. Don’t let your mind wander. It must be close to a minute now. Ok, now. Something must be wrong with the timer. It’s fine, it was working before. This can’t be one minute. I’m going crazy.

This was very much like the inner dialogue I had on the first day. And every day after that. After what felt like 5 minutes, I opened my eyes. Turns out, the “beeping” part was not turned on. So it might actually have been 5 minutes!

I don’t understand why it’s so difficult for me to just sit without waiting for it to be over.  (Except for the 5-minute morning. I get why that one didn’t work.) I told myself I would do this for 40 days, so I will. Ichih, my yoga teacher, said to ask myself why I was doing this. For example: I eat because I am hungry. I meditate because… Humm. I’m not sure. Maybe that’s why it’s not working.

See how peaceful I look? Yeah, looks can be deceiving. I really don’t feel peaceful at all!

Does anyone have any tips? I’ve tried counting as I breathe in and out. I’ve tried breathing in from one nostril at a time. I’ve tried different positions. I’ve tried stretching first. Maybe music? Is that distracting? Maybe I just need to chill out, that might help!

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13 thoughts on “The longest minute in the world

  1. Jamie Ebert says:

    It seems easiest to sit after an intense yoga class for me. Think of how calm and still you feel at the end of a tough yoga class. It’s also a little bit easier to remember why you would want to sit still after you’ve been moving a lot. Since this isn’t always possible, or maybe you want to do your sitting practice in the morning, try to connect with that feeling you have when you need stillness and what it means to you. For me, it’s important to remember to stay centered and grounded amidst daily chaos instead of feeling caught up in the flurry of sounds and happenings in your life. Taking those moments to sit helps to bring that into your daily life.

    • The Bliss Project says:

      I do enjoy the feeling of calm I get during savasana after an intense yoga class. I would love to get that feeling when I meditate in the morning. I will definitely try to remember this feeling, I really think it will help. Thanks!

  2. C says:

    When I meditate, I take a moment to hear all the voices in my head, and then imagine the volume on them being turned down just like a radio, until all I can hear is the room I am in, and my own breath and heartbeat. I don’t know if that would work for everyone though. My mind might be really verbal – maybe if your mind was more photographic it wouldn’t work as well! Also, I think it helps to adjust your expectations. I’ve been working on meditation for a long time, and my mind still wanders. The trick is to bring it back when you notice. and hopefully you will learn to notice more and more quickly when it starts to wander. I meditate because my mind gets tired. For me it’s like rebooting my mental computer. I feel more rational and patient and clear minded. It helps in our line of work!

    I’m excited to read more about your experiences with meditation!

    Claire

    • The Bliss Project says:

      I like the idea of taking a moment to aknowledge everything that is going on in my mind before sitting down and trying to clear it. I think I have been expecting too much of myself too fast. Even if one minute is not easy, I might add a minute or two. That way, if my mind does wander, I can get back to my breathing and maybe get one minute of a quiet mind. Thanks for your tips!

  3. imaginationinparenting says:

    oh my goodness t’es drole! 🙂

    I wish I could help. All I can offer is that I’d KILL for a minute of silence to MYSELF in the morning. EMBRACE IT 🙂 I know, you’re trying very hard. but just “be”. nothing else. just be in the moment. and think “Annie can’t even pee in silence”. haha.

    xo

    • The Bliss Project says:

      Hahaha! Pauvre toi! J’ai pensé à toi ce matin et je me suis mise à rire pendant que j’essayais de me concentrer! My students often wait for me (in packs) outside the door when I go to the washroom, so I kind of know how you feel! xxx

  4. Heather says:

    I am by no means an expert at this, but I have two suggestions that may help…
    Maybe changing your mindset on meditating from “having” to sit there for a minute to “wanting” to sit there for a minute. Start small with just enjoying the moment of sitting there even if it means you are still thinking( at least then your not thinking about not thinking!! Lol)

    A thing that works for me is thinking about the ocean and coordinating my thoughts with the internal sound of the waves (breathe in the wave coming in to shore breathe out wave going out) find yourself a beatutiful beach on a desert island. This way every time I get distracted I come back to the waves, and eventually I slip into not thinking anymore… It’s worth a shot..

    Your blog and adventures are amazing and make me feel happier through reading them every day, I share your love for ichih she is absolutely amazing !!! keep the blogs coming 🙂

    • The Bliss Project says:

      I tried visualizing the ocean this morning, and I think it helped! I also thought about “having to sit there” versus “wanting to”. You’re right. Nothing is making me do this. I’m doing it because I believe it will bring me peace. I think I have to stop fighting myself!

      I’m very happy you enjoy reading my posts! This makes me smile!

  5. Queen Gen says:

    I did yoga for a short time and I seriously couldn’t relax and meditate at all. One of the things my instructor said was don’t try not to think – let your mind touch on the thoughts going through your head – but then move on. I actually found that really helpful advice – I’d close my eyes and all these thoughts would sail by and I wouldn’t dwell on them – and eventually my mind would be quiet and I could just breathe. I didn’t really think of it as meditating, because that made me feel like there were rules I was meant to follow and I was probably doing it wrong. I just took a few minutes to stop and breathe and rest. Maybe I was doing it wrong. But it was nice.

    • The Bliss Project says:

      I’m trying not to “try not to think”, but that’s what’s the most difficult for me! I had a yoga teacher once tell me to treat thougts like clouds and picture them floating away. This made me think of care bears, and then of care bears doing yoga, so I’m not sure it worked the way she intended! But it is nice to take the time to sit and breathe, even if I’m not “doing it right”. I think I need to enjoy myself more! 🙂

  6. feelingchipper says:

    I agree with Queen Gen, I’ve heard people say you need to acknowledge the thought then put it aside. It’s tricky though! What works for me is imagining a circle in my mind’s eye. As you breathe in the circle expands, as you breathe out it contracts. It seems to help keep other thoughts out.

  7. erinHasThoughts says:

    I’ll tell you what…I know what you mean about your mind wandering! In Bikram yoga, there is a 1 minute Savasana….and I know you do yoga, but I”m not sure if you practice Bikram…If you dont, its hot (my class this morning was 106 degrees). And its long (90 minutes), and can be boring if you don’t just “accept it” (there are only 26 poses – yes 26 poses over a 90 minute time span….crazy! haha).

    Anyways, that 1 minute Savasana used to be tough because you aren’t allowed to move. No wiping sweat, no drinking water, nothing. Just lay still and let the blood flow through your body. I’d try that if I were you. Lay on your back with your heels together letting your toes fall to the sides with your arms at your sides- palms facing up…try to keep your eyes open and focus on the blood working its way through your body. Focus on all the GREAT things you are going to do (maybe think about accomplishing your 40 days of meditation or your 30 days of wilderness).

    I hope this helps you a little…and if it doesn’t – trust me, I feel your pain!!

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