The Problem with Meditating

My wife and I attended a day-long seminar on happiness and the first thing the group leader said was how important it is to meditate.

That did it – I raised my hand and blurted out, “I can’t do it, I have tried, it doesn’t work for me” and surprisingly others raised their hands to hitchhike on my complaint – they couldn’t meditate either.

But I learned a lot that day.

For instance, you don’t have to succeed at meditating to succeed – I can still have my mind on the next DayStarters I have to write while attempting to clear it of everything.

It’s the process of trying – putting yourself in an anxiety-free state and taking the benefits you can get.

I ask my NYU music students if they meditate and perhaps one out of 40 could attest to it, the others who tried were in the same boat as their professor.

After all, what causes anxiety?  Certainly, perfection is one thing and to gain some benefits from meditation, perfection is not necessary.

If you see me smiling on the turnpike to New York City, I’m not thinking about the traffic jam in the Holland Tunnel – I’m allowing myself to think of something (anything) more pleasing like the smiling faces waiting for me when I arrive at class.