Short, easy form of meditating

Posted by: jilly

Short, easy form of meditating - 12/15/09 06:52 AM

I am trying to practice mindfulness in my life, but it's tough when I constantly keep myself occupied with so many projects and interests. The days fly by and i only get any real alone time in the bathtub and on walks.

So I have been trying to meditate each day for five minutes. I know that is a short time, but it's a good start for me. I don't think I could really sit there still with empty thoughts for an hour or even half hour at this time. So for me, five minutes is a triumph.

I asked DH to do it with me each day. He figures he can take five minutes from his time to do something nice with me, so this is our third day.

Each time I set up the timer for five minutes and sit quietly, I am surprised how quickly the time goes by. I always thought meditating would be soooo slooooooow and five minutes would seem like an hour.

So I am happy report I am really enjoying this small time-out each day. I sit on a small pillow on my yoga mat, cross legged with my hands palm-up on my knees. Dan just sits near me and quietly stretches.

I have a small Buddha set up nearby with some candles and incense, and also some smooth stones to hold if i want them.

I am thinking about making my own meditation pillow from some scrap fabrics at the thrift store and finding some meditation music to download.

Does anyone meditate? What do you do, set up, listen to, whatever? Do people find the idea of meditating intimidating?
Posted by: jilly

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 12/16/09 10:37 PM

I am finding that if i wait too long into the evening to meditate, then I am crankier and sleepier. it's hard to focus on inner peace.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 12/16/09 11:00 PM

That is awesome Jilly that you are doing it! Definitely I agree that earlier is better. If you keep putting something off then it becomes a have-to-do rather than an enjoyable break.

I have a green pillow that I bought to support a Tibetan monastery -

The idea of making your own seems amazingly nice!

I don't use my pillow much even though I deliberately bought it. I will have to work that in.

Mostly I tend to meditate at night after I write in my journal. Bob likes to have the TV running all day while he works on his laptop and I find that incredibly distracting. So at night when he falls asleep I turn it off, and then I enjoy the blissful silence.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 12/17/09 02:05 AM

What a pretty pillow Lisa! Is that buckwheat-filled?

From my research a zafu like that is too high for most people to comfortbly use without needing to break it in. Then once it is broken in people cherish them for decades of solid use.

So I'd say either break it in, or get one of the new zafus that are lower that don't need to be broken in. smile

I am just going to make mine low.

Not sure yet what I will be stuffing it with. Old clothes, cotton batting, grains, gravel, sand? I have a large unused bag of aquarium gravel - I wonder if that would work.

I am searching the thrift stores for just the right fabric for this. It will have to be tough and study, with an agreeable texture for sitting, and hopefully a nice soft meditation-y color. Lavender would be nice, to match my yoga mat, or a nice chocolate brown.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 12/18/09 06:50 AM

I just had my five minute session today - i lit a candle and some incense for extra goodness. I had experienced my first ever anxiety attack today, so i needed an extra boost of focus on serenity.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 12/22/09 04:13 AM

I have been doing the daily short meditation most days, and surprisingly to me, Dan is doing them with me. I really look forward to this five minutes of quiet mindfulness.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 12/31/09 12:01 PM

That is so wonderful that you are having that quiet time Jilly!

I have my pillow under the tree smile We didn't have presents at all this year, so the only thing under the tree was my pillow smile

Here's the link to where I got my pillow smile;Category_Code=

I really like the orange one!
Posted by: jilly

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 12/31/09 11:26 PM

OOO, the orange one is so rich and silky looking!

I decided to use my aquarium gravel for the pillow (it will be really heavy, but i have nothing else to do with this bag of unused clean gravel). I have some fabric I was thinking of using for my pillow, but I am thinking it's just not sturdy enough.

Will keep looking. smile
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 01/01/10 08:31 AM

Gravel does sound rather heavy - what if you ground up your corks and used that instead?

What else could you use the gravel for? How about as the bottom layer in the flower / garden pots you'll be growing things in in the spring?
Posted by: jilly

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 01/02/10 12:46 AM

I just had an insight. I took a small pillow that has a zipper down the side and added some of my fresh clean gravel to it. So it's half cotton batting and half gravel. I will give this a try. My impression is that I like it, and might even want to add more gravel.

I really don't want to buy a zafu. I am sure I can come up with something from things I have. smile
Posted by: jilly

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 01/10/10 08:26 AM

So far this pillow with the gravel is working fine, not smushing down like a regular throw pillow does.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 01/25/10 01:03 PM

Did you end up giving this a try? Did it work out well?

I still like my cork bits idea, I think that would give you a good texture without pointy bits.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 01/26/10 08:05 AM

No pointy bits on aquarium gravel, that is something aquarists don't want as it rips up fins. smile

Yes, the pillow is working wonderfully! I love it. It's the perfect solution. smile

Some days I find the five minutes speeds right by, and other days I wonder if my timer stopped.

One thing that happens with regularity is that the dogs rub up on me for petting when I sit there on the floor. Frodo actually crawls in my lap and Kaylee rubs her head all over my hand.

It makes me laugh but takes me out of the 'moment' of what I am trying to accomplish.

I love the dogs and I sense they like the energy I am putting out, so they can keep bugging me if they like. I will learn to work around it.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 01/28/10 03:17 AM

I suppose it's a test of sorts, to see if you can keep meditating even with very real distractions around you. That way you can get to the point that you can meditate in a noisy airport!

I am planning on sleeping downstairs tonight - I don't want to sleep up in my bed where Hammie always laid on me. So I just steam cleaned the downstairs living room carpet, and put a fresh cover on the futon. I started a fire in the fireplace. So things are seeming calm and quiet. Bob is off playing his first game of darts with his new team. So maybe this is the perfect time to get the pillow (which I'd put up in James' room) and meditate.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 01/28/10 03:31 AM

ok that didn't work well at all, all I kept thinking about is Hammie and how he looked when his legs failed and how I kept shouting for Bob.

I think it's better if I keep distracting myself with forum posts for a while.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 01/28/10 07:26 AM

Ouch, I am sorry about your meditation nightmare. Maybe try some soothing yoga. Or some hard yoga. I find when I am ruminating anxiously I can put it out of my head with something that requires total concentration on something else.

I like the idea of sleeping by the fire in a fresh clean area. I hope you can get restful sleep. Is Juliet with you?
Posted by: tweetymom

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 01/28/10 08:06 AM

Oh yeah. The moment I have time to start thinking, it's the end of that! When I get in bed and turn the tv off, that's where my head goes; to the scene at the vet, with him sick and laying there, with me holding him and talking to him as they start the process. I don't think I'll ever forget that. it was not the first time I've been present at such a time, but the first time for a pet of mine. I went with a friend for support and to get her doggie out of the car, a dobie, whom I really loved, and her owner could not do these things. She was immobilzed. (SP) I was shattered of course, but I could be there for my friend. In my own instance, I went alone because this was between me and my Merlin, and I wanted to be there for him with no distractions.

Today was a very hard day for me. I will be going along with my day, getting things done, working and whatever, till someone says something about him., and I seem to fall apart and relive the whole thing all over again!
One night I was dreaming that I couldn't find him. So I woke up and jumped up, upset that I couldn't find him till I realized that he is not here and will not be here again! OMG, that was hard.

I realize that I have to do something about this. So far, the only thing I've been able to do is to take him off of my picture-mail thing. I know it must seem silly, but I had a hard time doing that. he is still on my screen saver on my phone, and all his things are right where they were before he passed. I KNOW that i need to get myself a grip! Maybe I'm in denial. IDK.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 02/07/10 08:30 PM

Oops, sorry I missed your post. I hope you've been ok. It is sooo hard to have a loved one suddenly gone. have you removed the picture thing?

I know my dad has a little shrine to his beloved Sheltie out in the garage. Every year he seems to miss Sparky a little less. So the pain does start to dull.

On really bad days I grab books and magazines and crawl into bed. Is that something you can do?

Going for a walk also helps.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 02/15/10 07:20 AM

It does help for us to have Hammie's ashes on the mantel. I know different people have different views on that, but for us it is comforting.

For meditation, I am up to 20 minutes a day. I find the time very peaceful and renewing. I meditate with my eyes closed, on my pillow, in silence.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 02/15/10 08:10 AM

That is great you are meditating for 20 minutes! What an accomplishment.

I have given up trying to do anything healthy until we move into the RV. It's too overwhelming to think about making time for yoga, meditation or even daily fitness with my brain being overloaded. I look forward to getting in the RV and getting back to my healthy habits again.

I really like my five minutes! 20 sounds overwhelming. Do you feel yourself getting anxious about at all, or impatient? I am very impressed, BTW.
Posted by: Love My Budgies

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 02/15/10 06:53 PM

Originally Posted By: jilly

Does anyone meditate? What do you do, set up, listen to, whatever? Do people find the idea of meditating intimidating?

Yes, I am a long time meditator (is that even a word?! grin).
I began doing short sessions of breathing exercises years ago, then tried to just not think about anything while sitting still. I moved on to guided imagery CDs, Yoga Nidra, Kundalini Yoga, chanting, subliminal CDs & DVDs, brain wave CDs, and eventually Japa Mala. Now I do a mix of Yoga Nidra, Yoga, and now that I am a 2nd degree Reiki practitioner, I do a self-healing Reiki session almost every night.
I would recommend checking into Ana Brett & Ravi Singh's brand new DVD called Meditation. You can get it at or at - be sure to check out reviews for details, it truly is delightful with short segments you can string into longer sessions if you like! I pre-ordered it and have been using it almost every day since I received it. They also have many fabulous Kundalini Yoga DVDs each with various meditations and/or chants. For Yoga Nidra I highly recommend (also on Swami Janakananda's Experience Yoga Nidra CD. It is the best I have ever found. For the most beautiful mala beads with suggestions of chants/meditations/affirmations I recommend
I have also found knitting and crocheting to be very similar to a good meditation session, you can get lost in the repetitions of stitches if doing an easy project.
When I first started it was very hard for me to sit still and not have my mind wander. Once I got into the practice of meditating regularly, I feel like I cannot maintain my sanity without it. It took a few years of regular practice to be able to meditate for longer than 40 mintues. I don't do that often since I just don't have the time to, but I do fit in at least 10 minutes of meditation with a 30 minute Reiki session in the evening.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 02/27/10 10:09 PM

LoveMyBudgies, those are some GREAT ideas. I love Ana Brett & Ravi Singh's Kundalini Yoda DVDs for when I want something very different than my usual ashtanga.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 03/23/10 12:35 AM

I have not even done my five minutes of meditating in a few weeks. I miss it. I have been so busy and behind with everything that I keep forgetting. I will make a point today to get my five little minutes in!
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 03/27/10 05:37 AM

We had James over for a while and his bedroom is where I had everything set up to meditate. I know I could have meditated elsewhere, but the house gets very noisy with Bob watching TV and laptop surfing and so on. That back corner room is my safe haven.

James is back at his dad's house now, so I will make a renewed effort to begin meditating again.

I have been doing morning yoga on the back porch which I *love*, out in the fresh air, the sun shining, stretching and flexing and so on. So that is a gentle form of meditation.

Also at night I often use the meditation techniques I learned in class, to go into "my sanctuary" and be comfortable there. It really helps me to fall asleep.
Posted by: tweetymom

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 04/12/10 08:29 AM

Jilly here is a breathing exercise that is easy and works really well to clear out and get rid of tension.

Directing Your Breath.

Sit in the yoga position and breathe naturally with eyes closed till you are comfortable and settled in your seating position.

Keep breathing and become aware of your breath.

Start deep breathing, and using imagery, inhale through your nose and direct your breath into the top of your head, filling all the cavities and crevasses in your head, keep breath in that place to the count of 8, if you can.

Exhale, through your mouth, blowing your breath directly out your mouth, to the count of 8.

Again using imagery, inhale and direct your breath way down into your diaphram for the count of 8. Exhale to the count of 8.

Inhale, directing your breath in a loop down into the diaphram, into your stomach, as deep as you can and exhale on the way up, blowing as much air as you can from your body. To the count of 8.

If you can visualize colors, you can see "red looking spots or brown spots" of tension ALONG THE PATH OF YOUR BREATH, and blow them out during your exhale.

When you're using imagery, nothing is written in stone. The way the spots should look to you is however YOU see them. it does not matter how they look to you or to me, as long as you know what they are, and make sure you swoop them out with your breath. That is why you want to exhale as deeply as you can, in order to get all that out of your body.

A tip. At the end of your inhale through your nose, it helps to even pooch your tummy out so as to take in as much breath as possible. At the end of your exhale, blow as much out of your mouth as you can, squeeze your tummy in, to get as much air out as possible.

It helps to watch the spots leaving your body, drifting out into the cosmos to be neutralized and disappear.
The spots could be tension, sadness, illness, headache, fatigue, and on and on.

It sounds complicated but it's not. The only difference is instead of straight breathing, your will be directing your breath to various parts of your body. Arms, knees, feet, where ever you feel that need it.

If you can not do visualization, you can still do this method. Just think about what you are going to do and then think about it while you're doing it.

I hope this helps. It helps me.

Posted by: jilly

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 04/13/10 02:30 AM

Tweetymom, that sounds LOVELY. I can't wait to try that. i will report on how it goes. Thank you. smile
Posted by: jilly

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 04/24/10 11:39 PM

You know, it's only five darn minutes! You'd think I could do this every day. But I go DAYS forgetting to take five minutes to sit and be still.

I just added to this to my daily iphone reminders to help me. And I am also going to do my five minutes RIGHT NOW.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 04/24/10 11:53 PM

OK, I just did ten minutes with yoga breathing, watching the prairie grasses waving in the gentle breezes.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 04/25/10 12:30 AM

That is awesome Jilly! It is so easy to get distracted from healthy activities when you are stressed.

I didn't do my yoga today because I got up and had this big to-do list of things. So I came right to my computer and started working on them. The RomanceClass update alone took probably 5 hours straight. But it's done, and I will make sure tomorrow that I do my yoga. I feel so much better when I do.

On meditation you definitely can't just jump to 20 minutes or 30 minutes. You only add *one* minute to what you're doing. And then you stay at that level until you are really happy with it. That way it's always a wonderful thing that you enjoy immensely.

I always felt incredibly soothed just sitting down to meditate and the time flew by. I haven't done it in a while now because I just got so busy. Which isn't good. So that is back on the list.

Now that the gigantic server move is FINALLY done (after four months!!) I am going to make sure I have time for things like this.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 04/25/10 12:53 AM

Good for you on getting that massive server move done. i hope you are good for the next five years! Blech. Or yay, i mean!

I think the ten minutes was so easy today because of watching the sunshine and breezes on the long lush prairie grasses. it was hypnotic and I was able to let go of thinking (mostly). And the yoga breathing made me a little light headed, so that was cool too.

Right now I am stuck between wanting to do my 20 minute run, doing ten minutes of yoga in the sunshine, or plowing through and getting more work done (being on a roll, with my timer and all).

What to do?
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 04/25/10 04:10 AM

That is great, Jilly, I think we have found your perfect meditation combination!
Posted by: jilly

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 04/25/10 05:02 AM

YAY, i did manage to get in a 28 minute run. That felt nice.

I think i will keep aiming for five minutes a day, and if i feel good for ten, I will move into that. I at least need to make this a habit. :-)
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 04/26/10 07:30 PM

Yup exactly - don't push it. Increment slowly when you feel ready to increment. Plus your running counts as meditation too! Many people report getting the "runner's high" after 20 minutes, which is the exact same as the post-20-minute meditation high smile
Posted by: jilly

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 05/09/10 09:08 PM

I don't get a runner's high since I run so slowly. But I do feel happy and serene while I am out there. It's my personal time away - my "Cone of Silence."
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 05/12/10 07:11 AM

Jilly - I'm not sure a runner's high is exactly about speed. I'm not a runner so I don't have first hand knowledge of it, but from the people I talk to it is more about time. Whatever speed they're going, whatever route they're doing, after about 20 minutes their mind just tunes into what they are doing. It takes them that long to get through the initial whirl of thoughts and all of that, and to just feel the breath going in and out.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 01/27/12 03:00 AM

I still haven't felt the "runner's high" but it is a goal I aim for!
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 02/02/12 01:36 PM

My meditation right now is the guided meditation that comes with the Leela software. My life is so incredibly hectic with my current whirlwind of projects that just sitting still allows my mind to go off wildly in too many directions. I have to have the guided voice to stay on track and not do that.

Right now is just insane - my next book coming out, Mused coming out, my classes, a giant email backlog, and much more. I can barely breathe. But I know I have to take these meditation breaks in order to even slightly focus. So I am doing my best. I am hoping step by step I can begin to catch up.

Just today (well Wed) I realized with a panic that I had classwork done by Wed night and hadn't started any of it. I am almost completely overwhelmed. So I'm struggling to stay on one step at a time to get through this. I am trying to prune down every extra email message I can - but unfortunately one of my managers just went on break and I need to cover for her. So I'll do the best I can.
Posted by: illusive Fantasy

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 02/02/12 10:23 PM

well your classes are certainly important if time based...the rest can wait ...its a question of how much pressure are you putting on yourself and how much is real pressure...just remember if its not a matter of life and death it can wait a bit...unless you have placed deadlines on yourself. smile

think like what happened with the waited...just drove you crazy because thats a pressure you placed on yourself...yep it sure did need to be done and it waiting a long time again...placing more pressure on you...when at some point you should of just said the heck with it...its not killing anyone BUT ME.

as far as meditation ...i was where you were once...then was shown how to use more natural forms of guidance...listening to your breath as you breathe in and out...feeling it on your upper lip...and listening to your own heart beat...feel the texture of the things on you and around you and ENJOY them...the air on your skin and if outside the breeze and sounds ...etc...when doing this you notice very quickly if you should become distracted and can immediately pull yourself back to where you want to be.

it is always best to have control of yourself rather than someone have that control for you.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 02/03/12 12:43 AM

I think Illusive is exactly right here - there is real pressure that comes from danger and hardship, and then there is pressure we put on ourselves.

I try to remind myself of this every time something frustrates me.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Short, easy form of meditating - 02/04/12 01:31 AM

The main pressures on me right now are all external.

These classes cost money, and are teaching me valuable skills I want to learn. So I want to benefit for the time period I have them. They start on X day and end on Y day - I can only work within those.

The Mused magazine has set deadlines. The items have to be done within those timelines.

The book is publicized to launch on February 14th. Everything is set for that. So it needs to be ready.

The email messages have to be taken care of. That is what pays the bills to keep this site running. Either I process those emails in a timely fashion and keep the income rolling or the site shuts down.

So I need to find a way to manage it.

The steel issue was more a frustration with depending on Bob and feeling let down.