I’m a meditator, but not your typical kind.
I appreciate the value of quality mantra or a well-timed breathing pacer or a grounding loving-kindness practice, but when I sit down to meditate, it’s rarely structured.
When I’m in polite company, I call my process The Lazy Person’s Meditation. When I want to cut straight to the point, I call it “sitting with your s***.”
Don’t search too hard for a definition. It’s exactly what it sounds like.
Step 1: Close your eyes.
Step 2: Sit with what comes up
Release the reins
I refer to it as “lazy” because there’s no breath, no mantra, no focus. You just watch what comes up.
There’s no need to control where your mind goes. It’s just about creating awareness and acceptance around what’s going on in there. We’re allowing the muddy water to settle, as Lao Tzu puts it.
Maybe you’ll obsess about one topic during the five or ten minutes you’ve dedicated to the process. That’s fine. Maybe you needed to give some energy to that.
It’s much more likely that your brain will flit from topic to topic.
However, by sitting in stillness—even without a hand on the reins—you take what’s been subconsciously running in background and pull it into conscious realm.
You can see it and address it.
Because we normally have no clue what’s going on in our mind. Most thoughts and emotions are buzzing around just below our radar. It’s not until after we’ve yelled at Marta in the next cubicle for stealing our pen or until we’ve texted our ex at 2am that we realize, “Oh, maybe I’m feeling stressed or lonely.”
Shedding some light
There’s a Carl Jung quote that encapsulates this process perfectly: “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
Cultivating stillness through something like the Lazy Person’s Meditation gives us a glimpse of what needs to be addressed. Instead of judging what comes up, we can reinterpret those thoughts and emotions as signs.
We often direct our requests for signs to the universe or God, but they’re right in front of us if we take the time to observe.
Why am I so stressed about this work decision? Could it be a sign that the decision is flawed or is my reaction out of wack with the scope of the situation?
Why am I obsessively replaying that conversation in my head? Could it be a sign that I need to reassess the relationship or maybe I was wrong and need to apologize?
Why do I get so angry when someone makes a comment about my hair? Is it a sign that they’re being insensitive or do I need to address a deeper insecurity?
Why is this coming up? What’s the lesson here? Those are questions we should be asking ourselves.
But we can’t ask these questions if we can’t identify the root issue.
The Lazy Person’s Meditation prompts growth by simply observing the cycle of your thoughts. We become intimately aware of significant trends.
Yes, it’s true that much of life is out of our control. However, we can still control the controllables. That unconscious stuff we avoid dealing with has powerful effect on where end up and what type of person become.
By making unconscious conscious, we tap into our power to consciously create our best self.