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When Should I Not Meditate?

Corporate Meditation Room
Corporate Meditation Room

You’re fulfilling your resolution to meditate, so you set your phone to buzz every morning at 10:15. Great! However…

Let’s say you’re smack dab in the middle of writing bullets for next week’s presentation, the ideas are flowing, you’re in your groove, BUZZ (Alarm: Time to Meditate). DON’T MEDITATE! Don’t stop your flow, keep writing, meditate in an hour or at lunch. This is not procrastinating. Meditating is often used for stress reduction or clearing the mind, to improve relaxation, focus and productivity. But if you’re already in your zone of focus, creativity and productivity, DON’T STOP.

What if you’re determined to sit for fifteen minutes every day to quiet your mind, and you do, good job. But today at minute seven you’re “interrupted” by really awesome thoughts for your proposal. Don’t shush them. Follow them. Listen. Write them down. Go back to meditating when you’ve finished your flow. This is contrary to what many meditation teachers preach: Quiet your mind. Watch your thoughts go by.

Meditation is not dogma. You don’t need a rule book. You’re sitting quietly and focusing on your breath for your benefit, whether it’s to enhance creativity or to elicit calm. Use it in the way that’s best for you.

If you’ve decided to meditate every day at lunch when you also eat and exercise, you may be too hyped up huffing and puffing and digesting to relax into stillness. You have 45 minutes. One option is to hop around for 20 minutes, stretch for five, meditate for 10-15 minutes and eat mindfully for the remaining few. THAT would be refreshing.

Flexibility is key in every aspect of life including work and school and parenting. So, be flexible with your meditation routine, too. Even if you know that you’re a master procrastinator and work best on routine, if at 10:15 you have to go to the loo, go to the loo, meditate at 10:30.

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