Breathe in, breathe out

I've been trying to meditate lately, and I'm not very good at it. I know, I know. All the Zen types with whom I am acquainted insist there's no such thing as being bad at meditation, but I do so like to think I am unique. Why meditate? A number of reasons, mostly to do with stress and anxiety and the ensuing/causing monkey mind from which I suffer. As I've blogged here before, it plagues me to the point that falling asleep at night is a massive, painful undertaking. I want to learn how to quiet my mind, how not to be leaping to the next thing and the next thing and oh, that one thing I've forgotten. I want to remember how to be in this moment right now and, most importantly, to know that I'm okay there.

The thing about meditating is that I'm never quite sure I'm doing it right and I always feel, quite frankly, like a bit of a dork. I've been talking to as many people I can for whom meditation is a regular (or semi-regular) part of their life and I'm both encouraged and somewhat intimidated by the variety of approaches. Part of me thinks I'd be better off if someone just said, "There's one way to meditate and this is it -- steps 1, 2 and 3. Follow those." And part of me knows that if someone told me that I'd probably tell them to shove it.

I have a friend who meditates only while walking by herself out in nature, simultaneously sending out a bunch of good thoughts into the universe. Several people I know attend meditation classes or groups on a regular basis, but that just sounds like, I don't know, commitment. Another friend suggested a type of visual meditation, focusing on an image that really calms me and just practicing focusing on something other than my crazy thoughts.

So where am I with all of this? Sporadic, at best. Half-hearted and half-assed, at most. I'm trying sitting cross-legged because, I dunno, that's how the Beatles did it, as well as everyone else you see on TV. I've tried it in the morning and in the afternoon. I've tried it using some made up mumbo-jumbo prayers as well as some meditations I remember from the olden days when I practiced Anusara yoga regularly. Speaking of which, I'm trying it while doing some basic yoga poses as that's still one place I can remove myself somewhat successfully from the chaos of my mind and focus on my breathing and movement.

The jury's still out. At this point, I'm just hoping that in meditation there are points for trying.