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How to meditate when you can’t sit still

Closing your eyes and focusing on breathing can be hard for those who are easily distracted. But it is possible.

(A. C. Shilton/ New York Times) — Eyes gently closed, breaths slow and steady: Meditation, at least when other people are doing it, always looks so peaceful.

But in our chronically distracted, phone-addicted world, sitting still for 10 or 20 minutes is tough and often causes your brain to pinball between errant thoughts. Meditation teachers say that you should recognize those impulses and then come back to your breath or whatever you are focused on.

But what if you can’t find your way back? What if you are just left frustrated?

“That feeling is very common,” said Dan Harris, co-author of “Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics” and founder of the mindfulness app Ten Percent Happier. But, he added, “distraction in meditation is not proof of failure.” (…)