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Too agitated to meditate? 3 suggestions.

October 3, 2011   |   10 Comments


Sometimes we are just too agitated to meditate. It’s not even that we can’t find 10 minutes–it’s that when we do, it just feels too uncomfortable to sit. All the things on our to do list come up. The heart starts racing. The mind flips out. The more we sit, the more we freak ourselves out.

Sound familiar? This happens to me all the time. Here is what I do to get over the agitation that prevents me from meditating.

1. Remember the technique
2. Sit longer
3. Make an offering

The first video goes into detail on these suggestions.

To practice meditation together, sign up for The Open Heart Project. You’ll receive two guided meditations per week from me so that all you have to do to meditate is press “play.” It’s free.

Questions? Comments? Bring. Them. On. It may take me a little bit, but I answer all emails.

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  • Posted by:  Betsy

    I like to “lie down in bed” instead of “sit,” but I swear it’s still a very useful and good process.

    Miss you! Hope you and D are doing great!!

    • Posted by:  Susan

      Lying down is totally good.

      Miss you too, sweets. Hope you’re well!

      xxoo S

    • Posted by:  Queena

      Just was wondering if you have ever used a pogrram like binaural beats, or Holosync. These are meditation pogrrams that help you take things to a whole new level by bringing your mind to a certain state,by using sound.I am a massive Bill Romanowski fan since your days in Denver. I have never seen some one with such complete dedication and devotion to both family and life its self. Your book is incredible and if I ever have a child it will be a required reading. Thank you for being a good, hard working driven human being. I have run into you before in person and you are very caring and centered. A huge pleasure to see you in person.I will keep my eye on this site and look forward to seeing what else is on your plate.Take care and stay healthy.Damon

      • Posted by:  Susan

        I have never tried programs like the ones you name.

  • Posted by:  Erin S.

    This is a nice inspiration to establish a consistent at home practice because YES the exact anxiety you described plagues me nearly every time I contemplate sitting on my Zafu. I do have a question about sitting longer (or for any period of time, really)…..regarding TIMING it. Since most of my meditation practice has been with a Sangha, I am used to having a time keeper and I do not own a meditation timer for home. I feel like if I sit (and I’ve set an alarm), I still face anxiety about whether or not I will relax enough before the alarm goes off and startles me; any suggestions of a better way to time my meditation (or NOT time it?) A phone alarm is a disturbing way to end meditation as opposed to the soothing gong/bell that I am used to….

    • Posted by:  Susan

      Erin, I find it is very useful to use a timer. Most days I’m on a fairly tight schedule and if I don’t set a timer, I fret about how much time has past. I use a meditation app on my iPhone that has a nice bell sound. There are many such timers for your computer or iPod or cellphone.

      If you don’t want to use/don’t own any of these things, an egg timer works fine. Or an alarm that is programmed to go off to music rather than a buzzer.

      You could try using a stick of incense. Light it as you sit down to meditate and note the time. Stop meditating when it has burned down (or halfway down, or whatever you choose) and note how much time has passed. The incense I used to use took 20 minutes to burn down, for example. I stopped using incense because of the scent, but I hear there are smokeless varieties.

      And of course when you have an open-ended amount of time, try sitting without a timer and see how that goes.

      • Posted by:  Erin S.

        Thank you for the suggestions, I ended up searching again for a timer app on my smartphone and found a GREAT new one!! I like the incense idea too….heres to establishing a consistent practice.. 🙂

        • Posted by:  Susan


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“With wisdom, creativity and artistry, Susan Piver brings a Buddhist lens to the spiritual map of the Enneagram. The results are vibrant and nourishing; a banquet of insights that help us transmute our difficult emotions into pure expressions of our basic goodness.”

 – Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance