Lying to Myself About Meditation

Mina Samuels
6 min readMay 31, 2023

Monday morning. May 8th, 2023. I wake up after an unusually restful night of sleep. I know I got up to the bathroom once. Other than that, I have no recollection of sleepless restlessness, which is not the norm for me these last many months. The first thing I notice is the fading rose of the light on the buildings out my window, soft and clear. I am surprised the day is here. I check my iPad for the time. It’s on the bedside table. Reading a novel (on the kindle app on my iPad) in bed as I fall asleep is one of my life’s pleasures.

And, in that moment, reaching for the time, I realize this: I did not meditate yesterday. Horror! How could I have forgotten?

I comb back through the day. It was not my typical Sunday. To start with, I didn’t get into bed until 4:00 am. I was taking part in a big group photo shoot organized by some friends, which didn’t start until past midnight. That same morning, I stayed longer in bed than usual … waiting until the moment before I needed to leave for my 5 Rhythms group at noon. I left my iPad out in a particular location to remind myself to meditate when I got back. But not with a note, as I often do, if I don’t meditate first thing in the morning.

That was May 7 th. My cousin’s birthday. He was born 4 days before me. It would have been 1617 days of meditation in a row. 617 days since the last day of the first in-person visit with my mother after pandemic.

My streak!!?? I couldn’t lose my meditation streak, too! Enough with the loss already (I won’t get into the details-I’ve written about them the last couple of months.)

I recalled that while I was lying in bed Sunday morning, I had thought to myself, maybe 5 Rhythms will be my meditation today. After all, Gabrielle Roth, who developed the technique, called it a moving mediation. Still, if I’m honest, I wasn’t thinking about that anymore when I got to the studio. I was just inside my body, inside the dance. So, did it count if I hadn’t thought to myself, in the moment, this is my meditation?

I’ve been meditating daily for more than 4 years now, and I have adjusted my expectations and the form my meditation can take several times. For example, when I started, I required of myself a minimum of 20 minutes. After a month, I relaxed into any amount of time counting…

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Mina Samuels

Writer. Performer. Citizen. Traveler. Enthusiast. Author of Run Like a Girl 365 Days A Year and other books. www.minasamuels.com