ARE YOU A MEDITATION FAILURE? MANY ARE. I WAS.
The guru of how to be an expert–K. Anders Ericsson believes 10,000 hours of practice is required to rise to an expert level in almost every field. Moreover, he believes the practice must be deliberate. There are four components to what he experts call Deliberate Practice:
1 The practice follows a specific routine.
2.The routine is repeated regularly and frequently.
3. Progress can be measured.
Rating scales serve to measure progress. Almost anything can be rated. Here is a simple Level rating scale to measure your progress in learning any exercise.
1. You have to stop to read the directions every time you practive.
2. You rarely have to stop to read the directions.
3. You have to consciously talk yourself through the exercise
4. You no longer need to talk yourself through
5. You practice easily and correctly all the time.
Discouraged by that bit of information? Read on, there is hope.
First bit of hope: You are not trying to be the Buddha. You are not planning to walk on hot cinders. Most likely, you just want to reduce most stress when it happens.
More hope: EFTI’s One Minute Meditation (OMM) combines a brief meditation exercise with deliberate practice. It was designed to be practiced lots, but you do not need to practice it 10.000 hours to find it helpful.
It helped me meditate; if like me you have trouble sitting quietly for a half an hour, it might help you. Moreover, it can be repeated and you might find yourself meditating for more than a minute.
To practice the OMM:
1. Take a slow breath in.
2. As you are breathing in, tighten or imagine tightening all your muscles from you toes to your head.
3. Hold your breath and the tightness for at least 5 seconds.
4. Starting with your head, release the tightness as you breathe out.
5. End this Calming Breath by saying “Ahhh” and smiling gently.
6. Breathe normally for at least 5 breaths repeat a calming slogan inside your head.
7. Notice what it feels like to just breathe and repeat your slogan.
8. End with a Calming Breath.
1. Think of a safe place while meditating. Create one from your good memories. Be patient, it will takes time to put together a strong safe place. Include sights, smells, sounds, people who calm you, pets. Some people can see their safe place. Others do better describing it in words.
2. Find a calming slogan or sing a calming song.
3. Add movement. A number of the hyperactive kids I taught to meditate learned to hold one hand in the other and to press on one finger as breathing in, holding the finger tightly and then slowly releasing the pressure while breathing out. Doing so served the need to move and also maintained focus on breathing.
When first learning the OMM, practice only when already in a semi-relaxed state. Then as you find its calming effect growing, use it during light stress. In time, it will offer you a few moments of calm in highly stressed situations.
Thank you for all you do.
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