ageist EDITORS | november 1, 2017
I tried to meditate for years before I got the hang of it. Why is it so hard for some people like me? First, it’s about understanding that just because you want to do something — like open your eyes — it doesn’t mean that you have to. This is like the cold-shower-as-mental-discipline from last week.
This is what I know:
Hard is not impossible. You can sit still with a clear mind for a period of time. Its partially discipline, but also about the brain getting re-wired and new neural pathways being formed. MRIs of the brain of the meditator are different from the non-meditator. Brain re-wiring takes some time achieve — months —but once it does, sitting for 20 or 30 minutes becomes second nature.
There are a thousand different methods, teachers and apps for meditating. It’s one of those human activities that have been valued for millennia. Try not to get caught up in the method; any of them are probably fine. Start slow, 3 minutes or so, until you easily get up to the time you want. You are exercising and building a muscle, and just like any demanding activity, it works out best if you train for it. Even if you don't feel like you are doing it right, just sitting quietly in a chair for a few minutes every day is valuable.
A lot of us AGEISTs already meditate; we understand how vital it is in our lives and how much more effective we are as humans because of it. But if you don’t, my suggestion is: learn how. It’s another of those little things: uncomfortable in the moment, but completely doable, and tremendously valuable.
You are stronger than you think you are.