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The Only Meditation That's Ever Really Worked For Me

The thing that really scares me is spontaneous personal expression. For example, I can actually freestyle pretty well, but I've only done it for an audience a handful of times. Doing it for one person is even scarier. Rapping someone else's lyrics for any audience doesn't raise my pulse at all, but having people hear what I come up with in the moment is oddly terrifying.

Last night was my friend Luke's birthday party. Before the complete production, which is like the parties I've seen in movies, but better, he hosted a small dinner and meditation session for half a dozen of us. I went because I've met awesome new friends every time I've gone to one of his dinner parties, and despite hearing about how much it's improved everyone's lives, I've just never really understood meditation.

We all sat on cushions on the top floor of his house. We would be doing pair meditation, Luke explained. We were to sit and ping-pong back and forth offering one word descriptions of what's going on in our bodies and minds. He and his partner went back and forth to demonstrate:

Metrorail Meditation

On Kitty Litter Zen Garden

Finding a way to meditate regularly has been a real challenge for me. I tried getting up early to meditate but found I kept hitting snooze. Then for a while I meditated in the evenings but found that it was often skipped for a new episode of Downton Abbey or some other enticing activity. Now my "go to" time for meditating is during my commute which is thankfully by rail. It's not ideal but it happens Monday through Friday, morning and afternoon. I plug in my headphones and set the MP3 player to Jon Kabat-Zinn's Sitting Meditation. It's about 42 minutes long and I have 20 minutes in the morning and another 20 in the afternoon. Occasionally it's a standing meditation rather than sitting. Other times I run into a co-worker who likes to chat and I take that option. But often I have a chance to tune in twice a day.

This week I'm on Spring Break and finding my routine changed has also changed my meditation routine. I'm using other opportunities to be mindful (those litter boxes still need to be changed) but I haven't done my usual meditation. Let's see how it affects my mood and ability to stay present. I'm already missing it and may find a time to sit tonight or tomorrow.

How do you fit meditation into your schedule? Does it make a difference when you don't? I know it does for me, even if I'm in a "low stress" mode.

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