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Just stop. Saturday November 15, 2014

In the last couple of weeks there have been more than a few mentions of meditation. Now, I am the first to admit that months and years previously, I furrowed my brow at the thought of meditation and quietly deemed it for The Lentil and Leg Hair Weaving Brigade. Excuse me a second whilst I add sauce to my hat as I try to eat it. Hello, my name is Room, and I am the new member to The Lentil and Leg Hair Weaving Brigade. And it's a very rock and roll little place! Ignoramus am I for being so judgemental.

The lovely Rupert, on one of the blogs recently, said he didn't think he could calm his mind and thoughts long enough to say the word never mind try it. Well he didn't say that exactly but I think that's what he meant. That is me. Too busy to think. Too busy to plan. Too busy for friendship. Too busy to find anything to accompany me through life without making me busier, hence my affection for all at are there when I'm ready.

Recently I was introduced to a wonderful App which offers a free trial called Take Ten. It offers ten sessions of introduction to mediation, each ten minutes long. It's also available on the website below.

I found my favourite chair (the squashy green one, by the window in the hall), opened the App on my phone and listened. My expectation was low, my patience was low, I thought I'd make session two but most likely never session four...then, hello, a smooth and calm voice came to me from my right thigh. An easy voice called Andy. He told me what to do and when to do it. I just had to obey. He seemed to know when my mind was drifting and coached me back in. Ten minutes passed and I realised it had been really easy. Looked forward to the next one! Next day, same time, same chair, same Andy saying Hi, teaching me whilst holding my hand. And when he was finished with me I felt pretty good! Now, my mayhem life, my problems, my challenges, and my Vesuvius work pile was still there, but I felt more ready to go about it all. Haven't had that feeling in a long while.

I introduced my ten year old son to Headspace a few days in. He told me he thought Andy was a "cool guy" and has been doing the sessions at the same time as me. I feel very proud of my son knowing he is so open to learning how to tame his mind (an ongoing thing I have been working on with him for over a year). If a ten year old, and a previously-judgemental ignoramus can be won over by Andy, I wonder if you can too. Rupert, all you need is your phone and earphones on the commute to work. Pretend you're sleeping :-)

This is Andy:

And this could be your salvation:

Love from

The room above the garage.
A Moodscope member.

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Di Murphey Sat, Nov 15th 2014 @ 5:15am

Dearest Room Above the Garage,
I am deeply impressed with your actions and efforts to teach yourself and your ten year-old son how to meditate. You are correct, if "...a ten year old, and a previously-judgemental ignoramus can be won over ..." then so can I!

Watching Andy's presentation to TED is a gift to each of us. Thank you, dear RATG. You are pretty amazing as well as a gifted writer. And I, have new-found hope.
Di Murphey

Lex McKee Sat, Nov 15th 2014 @ 6:53am

Hi RATG...
How many of us would like to push the "Just Stop" button? There was one on the escalator the other day on the tube - near the end of two weeks of manic activity. I wanted to reach out and press it.
I have a dear friend who has a company called "Press Pause"... a pause for thought.
Bottom line: you press pause or stop or your body will!
Love Lex
"On Pause"

Ali Sat, Nov 15th 2014 @ 8:37am

Hi RATG, thank you for sharing this. I found through a recommendation on Elefriends and will be doing my sixth session of 'Take Ten' this morning. I find it really helpful, it definitely helps me to switch off my racing mind and refocus.

Julia Sat, Nov 15th 2014 @ 9:10am

Hi Room. I shall definitely look at Take Ten and Headspace. I am a slow convert to Mindfulness. It's taken me a long time to realise its magical benefits. Lovely to hear how your ten year old thinks its cool. I've heard that young children in boarding schools who can't get to seep because of all the noise at bedtime, are taught mindfulness during the day. They bring their duvets to class and practice under supervision. Thank you for this blog today. Great stuff.

Anonymous Sat, Nov 15th 2014 @ 10:12am

Hi I've been practising mindfulness meditation since the summer - it makes all the difference - lifts my mood - helps me focus on those things I need to do and stops the mental haranguing!


Anonymous Sat, Nov 15th 2014 @ 10:45am

Hi, I have been doing zen style meditation for more than 10 years now. It' absolutely marvelous. No headphones though ;-), just plain blissful nothing. But I suppose it does not matter how you start as long as you keep at it. It may take a while, though to get there

Fiona Sat, Nov 15th 2014 @ 11:02am

I have also been using the headspace app for the last couple of weeks and find it really helpful. I have tried several mindfulness cds over the years but this app is excellent. I find myself looking forward to my headspace session each day rather than feeling it is a chore. Thank you to whoever it was who mentioned it on this blog a few weeks ago.

Anonymous Sat, Nov 15th 2014 @ 12:24pm

thanks for so eloquently promoting the profound benefits of meditation. i particularly like mindfulness as i can practice it in tiny bites of time throughout the day as part of my awareness, giving me an increasing abilty to respond rather than react. i will try your app, thanks. and would also highly recommend the book: finding peace in a frantic world which includes 8 short guided mindfulness meditations on a great cd. (in a nice cultured gentle english accent) here are some free resources to try out.........

C A Morgan Sat, Nov 15th 2014 @ 3:26pm

Thanks for the link to Andy's TED talk which was a timely reminder for me & I enjoyed his great juggling skills too.

I came to Mindfulness meditation through Breathworks, Manchester UK

But I have let my practice slip and currently need to focus and get back to it as I'm struggling physically and mentally.

Anonymous Sat, Nov 15th 2014 @ 3:34pm

Hello lovely Di, kind words thank you. In my quest to kill the stranglehold this thing has on me I will try almost anything! I'm useless at learning and Andy has made it so simple. I hope you manage to take ten. Love ratg x.

Anonymous Sat, Nov 15th 2014 @ 3:40pm

'Love Lex'...wish I had a great name to sign off like's so...Zorro! :-D.
Must have taken some strength not to push that escalator button. It's like the 'break glass in case of emergency', the temptation is so very huge!!

Anonymous Sat, Nov 15th 2014 @ 3:42pm

Exactly. Refocusing is so needed and this does it without having to try very much. Glad you're there, love ratg.

Anonymous Sat, Nov 15th 2014 @ 3:48pm

Hi Julia,
Oh goodness, boarding school makes me shudder :-(
I'm probably being judgemental again but I can't help thinking they'd sleep better in their own beds... I tried a little Mindfulness practice through a CBT counsellor but I found I wasn't including it in my daily life. Do you try to include it as you go through your day or set aside a specific time? Ratg

Anonymous Sat, Nov 15th 2014 @ 3:50pm

Brilliant! Same question ly you as I asked you set aside time or try to include it throughout the day?

Anonymous Sat, Nov 15th 2014 @ 3:56pm

Excellent on ten I can ask questions! How long did it take for you to include your meditation in your day naturally? And now, ten years in, how long do you meditate for? I read a brilliant quote that said you should meditate for 20 minutes every day unless you are busy. If you are busy you should meditate for an hour. Excellent perspective. Love ratg.

Anonymous Sat, Nov 15th 2014 @ 3:58pm

Great to hear. Similar to you in that i've tried a few things for calming my washing machine head but this really worked for me. Glad for you too. Love ratg.

Anonymous Sat, Nov 15th 2014 @ 4:00pm

Thank you, I will take a look here. Even the name franticworld makes me feel better knowing it's not just my frantic world! Love ratg.

Anonymous Sat, Nov 15th 2014 @ 4:04pm

It's great progress to see that something was working even if it has now slipped. You found a path, just need to step back on. That's the hard part but you know it now and didn't before. And I need to take my own advice! Love ratg.

Anonymous Sat, Nov 15th 2014 @ 7:01pm

Hello Comfy Cosy Room -- Thank you so much!!! I have been putting this off and putting this off for months. But no more. Time to meditate and you've shown me the path by introducing Andy and his website. Best wishes, susan xx

Mary Sat, Nov 15th 2014 @ 9:20pm

"Ommmmmmmm"....... Actually, just the thought of doing nothing for 10 minutes has me hyperventilating - yet I know it can be extremely powerful. So impressed that your son has taken it on; I wonder if I can persuade my whole family to do it.....

Still having this panicky feeling about doing nothing.... Maybe I should do one of my zentangles and feel better....

Great post anyway RATG - I do love your posts. I hope the lovely Rupert enjoyed this one too (where's your comment on this Rupert?)

Anonymous Sat, Nov 15th 2014 @ 11:16pm

Great words! I hope you find it helpful. Andy talks all the way through so it really is beginners silence :-) but that's what I like. Go forth and do report back, love ratg.

Anonymous Sat, Nov 15th 2014 @ 11:22pm

What is a zentangle!?!?! I'm learning new stuff everyday! Ratg xx.

Di Murphey Sun, Nov 16th 2014 @ 2:44am

Dearest RATG ~
"A Zentangle is a form of artistic meditation that uses repetitive patterns to create images." It can be a delightful and fulfilling way to go inside and heal while being in the presence of your own brain's art.

I adore this form of meditation.
Di Murphey

Anonymous Sun, Nov 16th 2014 @ 9:34am

Well, it has been a long time, but I think I started pretty soon. It was pointed out to me, that this is essential. So I did it. I am retired now, but when I was still working I meditated ten minutes in the morning. More I could not manage, I have difficulties getting up. But these ten minutes made quite a difference. Now, in retirement, I meditate once a week in a group and when I need it. And in courses in summer and during the Christmas hol's. This sound sloppy, but it works for me, as I have learned to slow down my mind during the day or at night when something troubles me. Meditation is not a panacea, but it really helps. So learn to do it, and do it properly. No earphones, no shortcuts.
For background information I would recommend you research Joko Beck. She is dead now, but her books are still around.
Good luck and good to talk to you.

Anonymous Sun, Nov 16th 2014 @ 1:24pm

Thanks Di! It's new on me :-)

Anonymous Sat, Nov 22nd 2014 @ 9:07am

Thank you very much, it's really useful to hear. I'm encouraged and inspired. Love ratg.

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