Meditating has always been an important thing in my life. The fact that it’s probably the best tool for all individuals, makes it a hot commodity. There are books written about it, youtube videos showing how to do it, and even classes that teach it one on one… 😉 However, do you find yourself falling asleep most of the time when you practice on your own?
Meditation Guide for Narcoleps
So, here you are, finally finding the time to meditate and you go to put the teaching into practice and BOOM, you zonch out….zzzz. This is a common response for busy and stressed out people. The body senses the resting time and takes full advantage. Depending on the person, they might be fine with napping for that time. However, most people attempting to meditate that fall asleep, feel like they are wasting their time. Meditation is not a waste of time, period. So, how can some one stay concentrated while closing their eyes and breathing deep?
The Spiral Method
I have found a simple technique that works great to keep you awake. I call it “Hand Breath Spiral”. This technique works so well because as you flow through your zen time, you are also keeping track of the progress. You can do this by getting into a comfortable sitting position with your eyes closed. Lay your hands on your lap, palms facing up. Now you take a deep breath and have your thumb on the starting position #1 (See the figure below), exhale and move thumb up to position #2. Inhale…, then exhale and move thumb to position #3. Inhale…., then exhale and move thumb to position #4. You repeat this process until you reach position #12. Now, your other hand gets to participate.
Have your other hand’s thumb move to position #2 and stay there. Now work your original breath hand again, and when you reach position #12 again, you move your other hand’s thumb to position #3. Now you go back to the original hand and work another breath spiral, once you reach position #12 again. You move the other hand’s thumb to position #4. You continue this flow, until the other hand reaches position #12. This breath exercise should take about 35 minutes to complete. However, it’s best to go at your own pace and keep track of where you left off and see to yourself on going further the next time.
Why it Works
This works great because as you use your fingers to feel the position numbers, your mind is not given as much freedom to shutdown. Plus, if you do space out for a bit, your finger was holding its place and you can continue knowing where you left off. It’s a wonderful meditation training tool.
Plus, this mindful breathing can be used everywhere you go. For example, I do this while I drive to keep focused and not go into autopilot mode. I’m driving with eyes open, one hand on the wheel, and the other on my lap counting the breaths. You can practice doing the hand breath spirals with your eyes open while driving, walking at the park, listening to music on the bus, and even while your on the toilet. My toilet time is usually always my mindfulness breath time.
Now there’s no excuse to not having time to meditate, or thinking it can be a waste of your time. When the truth of the matter is, while you waste away in the bathroom, you can meditate the wasted time away.