My efforts at meditation aren’t going so well. I recently read about the benefits of meditation – particularly for people my age – but I don’t seem to be mindful enough while attempting to meditate.
First off, I thought meditation and mindfulness were kind of the same thing. Boy, was I wrong. The experts let me know that being mindful is showing up at the thing I’m doing. Like brushing my teeth. I should smell the spearmint of my toothpaste and appreciate the sounds of my brush swishing around my implants. While I’m brushing my teeth, if I’m thinking about whether I remembered to mail in my income tax, I’m not being mindful – and missing out on all the potential benefits.
Meditation is a more structured practice. I’m trying to do it for an hour each week with a group of my older friends. We find a comfortable place to sit. We close our eyes. Then we focus on our breathing. In… and out… in… and out. A leader reads a passage meant to bring loving-kindness and inner peace.
My mind strays. I start thinking about whether I did a good job brushing my teeth. And then there’s that income tax thing.