Have you been having trouble meditating lately? (Or forever? I know; it’s not that easy.) I’ve heard a lot of people say that, since the health crisis began, meditation is more difficult to do than ever.
The reasons are clear. Stress, of course—it’s a sad irony that meditation is most difficult when we really, really need it, like now. Another reason is Zoom fatigue. Yeah, that’s a thing. We’re spending more time than ever online to stay connected, but a side effect of that is feeling worn out and mentally scattered. Plus we have to learn new ways of doing everything, from working to shopping for food.
If you’re having a hard time meditating, it’s good to re-think how you approach meditation, too. Yes, you’re allowed to do that.
One of the ways I’ve been adapting meditation to these challenging times we live in is to take meditation one moment at a time, sometimes one breath at a time. And that’s an excellent meditation in itself: a grounding breath practice. You can try it right now:
- Sit or stand comfortably, and lengthen your spine to create spaciousness for breathing.
- Take a comfortable inhalation through your nose. Exhale slowly through your mouth, as though blowing into a flute. Repeat two more times.
- Return your breathing to its natural pattern, and let your awareness rest gently on that pattern for a moment or two.
It’s a simple meditation, it doesn’t have any fancy chants or a set amount of time to do it—and it works really well in times of stress. Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. Just as we have to re-think everything else we do these days, we can also try different ways of meditating, and finding the paths that work for us.