Meditation Does Not Belong on a To-Do List

August 15, 2014 8:26 PM

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My fingers fidget as if my thoughts are pounding the last miles of a half-marathon. The tug of war between noise and stillness churns from my core. For two minutes, this is what happens inside my head. I need to get milk. Be quiet, you are trying to meditate. Do I need to call the dentist to make my daughter's appointment? Shut up. Focus on the present. You are trying to calm your mind. Stillness, remember. When will this be over? I want to open my eyes. Does meditation even matter? With that final thought, my attempt to meditate for a brief period is over. I exhale that heavy sigh, like I've carried a piano on my back. In the very next minute, I breathe a little deeper, feeling a wisp of an air bubble in my stomach. Why is this hard? Why am I afraid of stillness?

My recent attempt to meditate is not an unfamiliar practice. I attended a meditation class a few years ago in a hot room that looked like a vacant parking lot. Sitting down meant taking a colored yoga mat from the corner, placing it on the floor and crossing my legs. As soon as my body hit the floor...

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