Interpreting your score
Which letter did you most often select to answer the questions on the previous
page? The letter most represents your personality type or obstacles to meditation.
IF The mAjOrITy OF yOUr rePLIeS
Were A: You’re seriously sleep-deprived.
When you finally slow down for meditation,
you’re likely to fall asleep.
solutions: Meditate early in the day, while
seated in a chair rather than lying down.
never do it after having an alcoholic drink or
heavy meal. if you do nod off, don’t chastise
yourself. “if you fall asleep while meditating,
at least you’re relaxed,” meditation author
susan gayle says.
or try walking meditation. the movement
will keep you alert. Breathe deeply and in
cadence with your steps. Focus on nature
around you: trees swaying in the breeze,
shadows on the pavement, the feeling of the
warm sun on your face.
Best guide for you: Let Your Stress Go,
meditation/self-hypnosis audio cd by susan
gayle ( NewBehaviorInstitute.com, $30)
IF mOST OF yOUr ANSWerS Were B:
You live, breathe, walk, and get angry
quickly. You also are most likely a
perfectionist. Quieting your mind and
slowing down are challenges for you.
solutions: practice, practice, practice until
you get better. to clear your mind, observe
your thoughts as a third person, like a
movie you’ve created, says amit sood, M.d.,
research director for integrative medicine at
the Mayo clinic in rochester, Minnesota.
also, notice your emotions without feeling
them. let them go and refocus on your
breath. repeating a mantra—such as “om” or
“amen”—on each inhalation and exhalation
may help you empty your mind.
Best guide for you: Guided Mindfulness
Meditation cds/Mp3s by Jon Kabat-Zinn
( mindfulnesscds.com, $20–24)
IF mOST OF yOUr reSPONSeS Were C:
You’re a fidgeter. it’s hard for your body
to become still, which distracts you from
solutions: lie down and listen to guided
meditations. “it helps you maintain a better
level of focus and relaxation,” percy says. if
you don’t have access to a cd, travel in your
imagination. think of an enjoyable place you
visited and recall it with your senses.
Best guide for you: Jane pernotto
ehrman’s Minute Meditations cd/Mp3
with eight guided imagery meditations
( imagesofwellness.com, $9–15)
IF mANy OF yOUr rePLIeS Were D:
You’re a skeptic. You need concrete evidence
that meditation heals your heart.
solutions: skip traditional meditation
and try relaxation response. count down
slowly from 10 to zero. With each number,
take one full breath. place your hand just
beneath your navel. as you inhale, your
abdomen should expand as if a balloon is
inflating inside. say the number and hold.
then, as you exhale, your abdomen and
chest fall and the balloon deflates. When
you reach zero, you should feel more
relaxed. if not, repeat the exercise.
if you’re often quick to lose patience, try a
quick and simple compassion meditation
anytime you feel irritated. in this, you
affirm that you want to be nonjudgmental
to others—and yourself. acknowledge
your reactions to people you love and
those you dislike. now imagine being in
their shoes and facing their challenges.
this simple meditation practice soon will
help you feel calmer and be healthier,
says charles l. raison, M.d., associate
professor in the college of medicine at the
University of arizona.
Best guide for you: Train Your Mind,
Change Your Brain by sharon Begley
IF The mAjOrITy OF yOUr rePLIeS
Were e: congrats, you’re already halfway
there. You know how beneficial turning
inward is for your body and spirit. You just
need to take meditation to the next level.
solutions: to make the most of your
meditation, start or end your day with
a meditation, ornish says. if you’re
doing a 10-minute session, expand it to
15 minutes. take opportunities during
your day to tune out when others get
frazzled, says Jeffrey Brantley, M.d., head
of duke University integrative Medicine’s
program. When a stressful moment
strikes, close your eyes, take several deep
belly breaths, and pay attention to the
sensations of your inner body.
Best guide for you: Five Good Minutes at
Work by Jeffrey Brantley, M.d., and Wendy
Millstine (new Harbinger, 2007).
in a six-week
study of 61 college
students, dr. raison
found a strong
the time spent
tools such as
music, images, and
words can help
if you love music,
find some with
a steady beat,
says Maya Frost,
teacher in Buenos
if words move
them in your mind
through a guided
meditation. if you
shape and texture,
You can even be
exercising. turn off
the tv and focus on
what’s going on in
your body and mind
while you exercise,
Frost says. “the
key in all of these
practices is simply
noting thoughts and
feelings that arise
as we watch what’s
going on around
and within us.”
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