Eventually we all get stuck somewhere. Perhaps it’s a pointless meeting that carries on because some blowhard likes the sound of his own voice. Maybe it’s a high school graduation where you are subjected to a barrage of platitudes. We have all been there and you will probably have to attend more these things in the future. Think of it as an intense yoga posture. Go inward, find your alignment and use breathing to make the situation useful. There is usually something that isn’t flowing as well as it could. Relax your body, meditate with your eyes open, clap when you are supposed to and make the best of it. You can even smile, nod and give packaged responses without having to really be there mentally. In this way, you can make the experience restorative rather than soul sucking. If you don’t want to meditate, you can just sleep. We used to be active with the Lions Club. Other than the two of us, most of the Lions in our chapter were well over 70 years old. Every Wednesday at lunch, different speakers came in. Some of them were great, some had political agendas or were simply dull. When a speaker didn’t connect with the audience, you would know it. Many of the members would simply go to sleep. Many weren’t even subtle about it. Mouths agape, snoring, some would put their heads on the table. I thought there must be an epidemic of narcolepsy. As I investigated, I found that for some of them it was a conscious choice. I asked some of the members why they nodded off at times. One man answered, “Well, it beats getting upset over nothing.” Another man was over 90 years old and active in the club. He gave me the following advice. “Imagine if all the idiots and the arguments were all just gone. You are better off getting some rest so that you have more energy for the things that actually matter.” This may be sage advice, but unless you are retired, you might consider faking attention. After you retire, go ahead and sleep.
- Identify that the situation is pointless.
- As you inhale imagine it inflating and aligning your entire structure.
- As you exhale relax away all of the excess tension.
- See how much you can relax and down shift mentally while still appearing be “be there.”
- As you become aware of internal sensations of temperature and motion relax more and see what you can feel internally. Time is an internal perception relative to your mental state. With practice you can recharge your body while making time fly.
How to Meditate Through Boring Meetings by Andrew Miles & Xuelan Qiu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at enlightenweight.com.