This is part of my Meditation Journal where you can find dozens of more posts like this.
Journal Date: 8-19-07
I sat and the mind was constantly nagged with light thoughts that grabbed the attention for seconds at a time. I sat about 20 minutes then stood up and did some walking meditation. This usually works well to do some walking meditation and then sit again. Not at all sure why that is… The mind seems to calm down more easily doing this.
For the next hour, I was mindful of everything I was doing, and was in the present moment, not thinking about the past or future. Sometimes if the mind won’t calm after 15 or so minutes, I just practice mindfulness throughout the day.
No sense sitting for very long with thoughts flying around all chaos-like.
If you also have a meditation session when your mind just won’t calm down at all in the 20 minute long session time you’ve allotted, it’s fine to stand up and do some walking meditation. If that doesn’t work, you can light incense on the floor in front of you and shut the lights off. Watch the smoke curling up from the incense stick. This is really calming. Focus on your breathing. Focus on a body scan and relaxing each part of your body.
If none of this works, just get up and go do something else. You tried. The mind wasn’t ready.
Next time, try to eliminate the problem of the too-busy mind by gradually calming down before you come to a session. Eat first, that usually helps. No caffeine. No sugar. No music for an hour before.