Meditation sounds like a lovely concept: turning off the mind, focusing on breathing, reaching a higher level of consciousness. But your mind starts to race, the phone rings, and you’re just doing it “wrong.”
Don’t give up on ohm-ing yet. Briana Borten is here to help. She’s the founder of The Dragontree, a wellness organization with holistic spas, a product line, and online resources for vibrant living. She’s also co-author of the best-selling book, The Well Life.
She offers these things:
Move your body before sitting: Many people just try to introduce a meditation practice into a fairly sedentary daily routine and find that their body resists and their mind continues to race.
Briana’s tip: Introduce movement before your meditation. She likes to say that movement in your body and stillness in your mind helps create balance because particularly for those of us sitting in offices, we usually have so much stillness in our bodies and movement in our minds. Take a walk, go to a dance class, go for a run - moving your body beforehand will make it easier to be still and go deeper into your meditation afterwards.
Crack Wise-dom: Does running to the liquor store count?
Be realistic with the time period you set: Setting a timer for 20-min and telling yourself “it’s time to meditate,” is a tough feat...no wonder you’re getting frustrated! Don’t let duration be your hurdle.
Briana’s tip: Even taking one or two minutes a day to be mindful is powerful. Take time to find one object around you and become present and attuned to that object. Briana recommends doing this in nature if you can. Find something that’s real in front of you and realize it’s more real than 99% of the thoughts coming and going in your head.
Crack Wise-dom: How’d you know about our duration? Did you speak to our last date?
Bring in fire: Fire has historically been used as a means for connection. We’ve gathered around the fire to tell stories, hold ceremonies and rituals. Today, as we turn to electronic screens more and more, it’s important to bring real light and warmth back into our lives.
Briana’s tip: Light a fire or even just a candle and stare at it with your eyes open for a minute. Perhaps ask the fire to burn away anything that is not present in your life. Doing this is a great place to start your meditation journey.
Crack Wise-dom: But don’t burn off your arm hair. That happened to a friend.
Be forgiving with yourself: If your thoughts wander, don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember that you are not your thoughts.
Briana’s tip: If you find that your first few (or few hundred) meditation practices involve continuously forgiving yourself for allowing your mind to wander, that’s a win in itself, and also a great place to begin.
Crack Wise-dom: Cheese… We could go for a grilled cheese… Did we do a load of underwear? Damnit. Footloose and crotch-free for the next day…
Haus of V is a creative collective that shares a similar mindset -- with a twist.