Meditation for Fidgeters

If you are not already into meditation, there is something slightly comical about trying to do it. You have to think about thinking. Or, stop thinking about thinking. Or think about not thinking. What you are mostly thinking is, “Why can’t I meditate?”

Which happens to be the title of Nigel Wellings’s new book (subtitle: “How to Get Your Mindfulness Practice on Track”). Wellings, a British psychoanalytic psychotherapist who has been interested in meditation since he was a teenager, aims his book at the many people who perceive the value of meditation, who have tried it, maybe taken a class, but cannot keep it up.”

There are more than 300 pages of explanation, anecdotes, encouragement, examples and so on, but let’s jump to the end of the book, where there’s a “Quick-Fix Chart for the Struggling Meditator.”


Problem: Cannot find time to meditate every day.


Possible solution: Do not wait for the meditation mood to strike you — do it routinely, whether you feel like it or not.


Problem: Falling asleep.

Possible solution: Keep your eyes open. Or try while walking.


Problem: Boredom.

Possible solution: Be mindful of the experience of boredom itself . That’s also a possible solution for being distracted, Wellings says — the biggest problem for would-be meditators. “A distraction you are mindfully aware of … is not a distraction — it is your object of mindfulness.”


Problem: Disappointment, the feeling that meditation just is not working for you.

Possible solution: Cultivate loving kindness toward yourself. Be patient. Develop a sense of humor.