Meditation for the unfocused

Okay, so one of my goals this month is to do some meditation.  But how to achieve this when my mind will skip through the tulips or invent stories or hash over the daily ‘stuff’ when I try?  That is why I don’t do meditation.  My mind is just too busy.

Now many sites and books on meditation say to think of a word or picture in your mind and meditate on that.  Well, my mind goes on one of those wikipedia hopping things.  You know how you will start with the word and then that makes you think of something funny from the other day, and then last week how this happened, and oh crap did I make that bill payment online ? Yeah – that’s from my head.

The solution I am going to try and invite anyone else who has trouble with the errant thoughts is meditating with an object.  I guess this is sort of like turning on a TV in front of a child -where they  stop whatever they are doing and become laser (vapidly) focused on the tube.

For a newbie like me, I need a concrete object to focus on in my hot little hands.  This object can be anything, but it should be something that you like to look at, and probably something you can hold in your hands for an extended period of time.  Some have suggested a piece of fruit. For me it can’t be food, because I would likely  eat it on accident.

This is the object I chose.

This is heavy handmade glass bowl which I quite like to look at.

This is my plan to start with meditation.

  • Find a quiet part of the house.  Not the bedroom, because I will probably just lay down and get tired. Sitting rather than lying down.
  • Try for a consistent time.  I am going with the evening so that work and exercise is finished and that won’t distract me thinking it needs to get done.
  • Keep the lights on, again so I don’t get tired.
  • Concentrate on my object, turning it over in my hands and studying it.  I am going to remind myself to focus on the object and not let my mind wander.
  • I am not putting a timer on or anything for meditating.  I am just going to do it for short periods of time that I feel comfortable without falling asleep or getting irritated (which usually happens for some reason).
  • I will do this a few times a week.  More if I feel like it, but I am not pressuring myself to zen out.

Note – I am not focusing so much on my breathing because I actually breathe quite well.  Since I was a musician for many years, focused breathing was something I practiced and is a habit that is very easy for me to do.  I guess at least that is one less hurdle to go over.  I would suggest that others practice breathing while concentrating on the object.

So.  We shall see where this leads over the month.

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Anyone else going to give this a try?

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18 thoughts on “Meditation for the unfocused

  1. Lisa

    I use Mala beads (a beaded bracelet from Tibet) for meditation. It’s sort of a similar concept as a Catholic rosary: using each bead as the meditation or prayer. I’m like you, I need something in my hands to keep me focused.

  2. Shelley B

    My mind is much like yours, hopping all over the place. And I giggles at not meditating in the dark because you’d fall asleep – we are SO alike!

    I don’t do it and probably won’t try. I’d like to try yoga one of these days, though, which probably incorporates a bit of meditation with it.
    Shelley B´s last blog post ..Friday Mishmash – Brought to You By the Letter F

  3. cammy@tippytoediet

    Love your focus object! One of the reasons I like Martha Beck’s concept of 15-minutes of nothingness is that the purpose of it is to sift through thoughts and feelings and pull out the ones causing negativity. Then I focus on turning it into something positive or at least, useful. 🙂 Even after 2+ years, I have days when it just doesn’t happen for me. On those days, I write!
    cammy@tippytoediet´s last blog post ..Gym Woes – 2011 Edition

  4. Sable@SquatLikeALady

    Ooooh this is great! I have tried to meditate several times before but I always end up distracted and then irritated and it’s totally counter-productive. I love the idea of using an object as a tool to train my brain to relax and let go! That bowl is sooo beautiful.
    Sable@SquatLikeALady´s last blog post ..Mushy Monday- Balance

  5. Fran

    Meditation never really interested me. I won’t give it a try either. I prefer to do yoga instead which is a bit like meditation. You could try that if this doesn’t work for you. There are some great websites where you can find yoga workouts online.

    I do look forward however how and if you are going to like this.

  6. Roz

    Way to go Lori. It’ll come in time I’m sure. I had a hard time shutting my mind off at yoga at the beginning (I know, apples to oranges, but still) and I just kept at it. USUALLY, my mind DOES actually close out the rest of the world. Good luck!! PS: I LOVE LOVE LOVE that bowl!!!
    Roz´s last blog post ..The chicken crossed the road!

  7. Amber

    I really like the focus object idea, and I really like the bead idea that Lisa mentioned.

    I’ve tried meditation – one of my closest friends does it and swears by it but like most people have mentioned, I have a hard time just sitting ANYWHERE and doing nothing. I need to be watching, listening or reading. Playing, thinking or just sleeping, haha.

    I haven’t heard of the focusing on an object idea though – maybe I’ll give it a try!

  8. Helen

    I am so not a meditator. Every time I take a yoga class and they get to the Savasana, I usually lay there making my grocery list or planning meals!
    Helen´s last blog post ..Tuesday Ten

  9. Kelly

    I’ve never tried to meditate except when having blood drawn. I’ll try to find something blue in the room and use that color to bring me to the blue waters of the Frio River when I can float quietly and peacefully. And plan my grocerie list and try to think of a flattering swimsuit, etc. My brain hops more than the Easter bunny.
    Kelly´s last blog post ..Travels and Weight Loss

  10. Ang

    Love the bowl! It’s gorgeous! I’m like you with the wandering mind. I’d be thinking about where the bowl was made, who made it, what their life was like, maybe they’ll be a How It’s Made on glass bowls. lol! In yoga during the savasana I lay there and wonder how much longer I have to keep my eyes closed, wonder if everyone else is still there with their eyes closed, what if I fall asleep, ect. My mind doesn’t know how to relax at all! Maybe I should give mediation a try and see where it goes!
    Ang´s last blog post ..A New Favorite Restaurant

  11. Susan

    I usually meditate sporadically. I’m really good at it for a week, and then I forget about it for 2 weeks, and so on. I try though, I really do!!

    The best way for me to bring in my thoughts when meditating is to focus them towards my cottage. In my mind, I walk through every area around my cottage using the memories of touch. The feeling of the bark on the trees, the feeling of the grass in the field, squishy sand, dry sand, the tablecloth, the vinyl tiles, etc. My cottage is my favourite place in the world and going through it so specifically calms me soooooo much.
    Susan´s last blog post ..Them Healing Vibes

  12. Jo

    Love that bowl, Lori. I meditate every day. I started off by doing the Chopra Center’s 21 day meditation challenge – 21 short guided meditations was a great way in. I follow the tenets of mindfulness meditation. The great thing about mindfulness is that nothing we do in meditation is wrong; just worthy of our awareness. Suits me and my wandering mind well 🙂
    Jo´s last blog post ..Random pleasantness

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