The 30 Second Toilet Meditation
Edit 2017 – 2 years later
I now call this Micro Meditations.
I think it’s a bit more portable this way.
A micro meditation is taking One Conscious Breath.
You do your best to block out the world and just take one breath.
Let your shoulders relax.
Feel the ground under your feet.
Feel the infinite sky above your head.
Just for one breath.
Then go on about your day.
When you feel the edges of over stress creeping in do a micro meditation.
I used to teach it as the 30 second toilet meditation.
I’ve since changed it to micro meditations.
I still love this article I wrote a couple years ago.
I wish you all the best in your search for balance amidst the chaos.
As the year comes to a close
and I look towards 2016
I like to set growth intentions.
I think of all the ways I have grown in 2015 and celebrate them.
I also look at the areas that I still need to work on most.
Then I form my intentions around
continuing to develop the strengths
and strengthening the weaknesses.
Be Gentle with Yourself Vivek
As I do I also remind myself to be very gentle.
While I am a big fan of personal growth and change
I am also a fan of being gentle with myself.
It has been my experience that
when I work consistently and gently on something
it has the quickest and most long lasting effect.
Pushing too hard can often sabotage progress.
Gentle consistency has the most power.
An Example of Gentle Consistency
When people mention to me that
they have trouble meditating and
ask me for help I share with them
a meditation I developed for just that purpose.
It is called the:
The 30 Second Toilet Meditation
The two main areas of complaint
people share about meditation is that
they either don’t have time
or they find they cannot concentrate.
The 30 second toilet meditation addresses both of these concerns.
The way it works is at least once a day
you find yourself in the toilet.
At this point you are alone for a span of time.
You also are in a suitably seated position.
This is the ideal time and place to meditate.
You can even call the toilet
your meditation throne.
This covers the time concern about meditation
because you are not having to carve out
any extra seconds from your day.
The retreat from the world is already set.
Use Your Toilet Time Effectively
Instead of reading a magazine
or playing with your phone
you can use your toilet time
to reach out to the spirit of the universe.
The actual meditation practice works like this.
Take 3 Slow Conscious Breaths
In and out
In and out
In and out
(For a Micro Meditation you can just take one breath!)
This is something anyone can accomplish.
The goal is not to have a quiet mind while you do it.
The goal is simply to take 3 slow conscious breaths.
You can have your eyes open or closed,
you can have your hands in any position
and you can let any thoughts
wander through your mind.
Three Breaths Only
The other part of the strategy is
for at least 2 months
absolutely refuse to do more than 3 breaths.
Even if you’re dying to
take a fourth breath,
refuse to do so.
The reason for this and I’ve seen it time and time again
is that people will take a fourth breath and then a fifth
then the next day feel like they should also do five.
Maybe 5 will turn into 6 then
the next day they can’t concentrate for 6
and they get frustrated.
They feel like a failure
and give the whole thing up.
If you stick to just the three breaths
you will not get snared by this trap.
Are You Dying For The Fourth?
After 2 months if you find that
you are dying to take another breath
then do so.
But only take one more.
Spend the next two months
only taking four breaths.
If you do not find that you are
aching to take that 4th breath
then spend another 2 months
only doing three breaths.
There Is No Rush
In fact the success of this technique
specifically relies upon you not rushing the process.
If you can stick to the 30 seconds and
do your best not to miss a day
you will be giving your mind the message
that you really care about your development.
If you do miss a day, don’t beat yourself up for it.
This is very important.
Just restart the next day and keep going.
The benefits will start to creep into your life.
Tricking Your Resistance
This is a wonderful example of
working at something in
a gentle but consistent way.
Is a way of tricking your resistance.
Bypassing the obstacles to meditation.
Find Other Areas To Apply Gentle Consistence
See if you can find other things
that you are resisting
and apply this principle.
Look for ways you can engage in things
in a gentle and consistent manner.
Write Three Pages Every Day… Sheesh!
Let’s say you want to write every day
but cannot bring yourself to do so.
Instead of trying to write a page every day
try and write one sentence.
Is one sentence tripping you up?
Then do one word a day.
Do it on the toilet!
Every day when you sit on the toilet
write one word.
After 2 months add a second word.
It may seem silly, but
not writing at all is not writing at all!
Gentle Consistency Is Strong
Gentle consistency may seem weak to some,
but I have learned that it has great power.
As I set my growth intentions for 2016
I will also apply this method.
I myself have terrific resistance to growth and change.
Gentle consistency helps me in
dealing with that and accomplishing things
that I otherwise never would.
I hope this concept helps you
in your journey of personal growth.