Thursday, April 4, 2013
fake it til you make it: pretending to meditate
Not knowing how, or knowing that you don't know how, are common reasons to avoid a meditation practice. Thinking that meditation will solve something, cure something, liberate something is all still just thinking about your own judgments of yourself and your life and really not approaching the practice. But of course, if you don't know how to meditate, you wouldn't know that the beginning of meditation is to see that no matter what else you are doing, you are thinking all the time.
You can fake it as long as you don't lie about it.
In other words, you just set a timer for 15 minutes, sit yourself down, align your body so that it takes the least amount of effort to stack your bones and release your muscles, and then pretend you are meditating by allowing your mind to wander all over the place while you keep bringing your focus back to one place (maybe the part of your body where you sense the breath the most). Do this every day for a while, pretending that you are taking your seat and meditating.
That timer will shock you, and you may have to start setting it for half an hour.
No matter what happens, no lying, okay? But it's fine to fake it until you can accept that you are allowing your mind to think all it wants, while you focus on your breath for a while. You will gain the muscles of mindfulness that help you turn your attention again and again to one point. And you may begin to see the patterns of thoughts and feelings, distractions and roadblocks that your mind has been making for you.
Take a minute to turn some kind, friendly feelings towards yourself as though you were an old friend.
Be curious about what all is going on with that friend, without judging any particulars in the stories you tell yourself.
Just set the timer and take your seat. If I didn't know better, I'd think you were meditating...