Being Present in the Moment

Some of the most successful people in the world meditate and there’s a reason why. In this episode KA and Dana discuss:

  • the benefits of meditation
  • how meditation impacts your health
  • AA, meditation, and prayer
  • how to do meditation
  • Buddhism

KA is an author of lesbian fiction with degrees in counseling, psychology, and social work. She writes stories about lesbians, burdened by past trauma, who find healing in the love of a soul mate.

Dana is an avid reader, a recovering alcoholic, a fisher-woman, and a graduate of the school of hard knocks.

As co-hosts, they’re quite the duo. Connect with them online at

Music in this episode (Lucky Way) is licensed for use in various multimedia applications by Melody Loops.

Listen to the podcast here



please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect

[Music] welcome to coffee break with KA and Dana were brought to you by the lesbian top shelf I’m KA a lesbian romance author and in my past life a counselor and a social worker and I’m Dana an avid reader coffee connoisseur recovering alcoholic and a graduate of the school of hard not grab a cup of coffee pull up a chair join us for a meaningful conversation from a lesbian perspective alright so you’re in the driver’s seat today pal knowing so much more about this topic than I do we’re talking about meditation and maybe a little bit about Buddhism and that it’s good for you absolutely it’s been the one saving grace with my over the top anxiety and you know it’s not a tool for everyone but I think everyone could benefit from it if they were to try it and it’s called a practice I mean there’s some days I can only sit still for like two minutes and that’s that’s it but there are other days that I’m able to sit for 15-20 minutes and those are the days that go better than the other days because I am not all hijacked up by my emotions on those days okay okay so so you’ll just see how how many stupid questions I can ask and what episode okay so I have never done it maybe maybe once in a psychology class when they made us try but I really didn’t do it I kind of planned something for the next hour I did something with my mind but it was not clearing it follow the rules why did I looked like I was following I looked like I was following but you know and it’s not that I can’t sit quietly so let me just see what stupid questions I can ask okay so you’re talking about sitting yes this city so you always do it sitting I do my morning meditation sitting I do my sleep meditations at night in bed – okay so you can do it in other positions yes you do it however you want to do it there’s no rules so well now I heard a rule just a moment ago you have to sit still or let’s go well hold still it helps it’s it’s not hard and fast but it helps because it’s it’s easier to stay focused when you’re still okay so so if you’re not still can you do it while you’re jogging yeah there’s there’s running meditations and walking meditations that you can get I know audible has one I just downloaded it I haven’t used it it’s a walking meditation but it seems pretty legit okay so stupid question number two it just kind of got answered so your mind isn’t exactly clear you’re using some kind of a meditation that you follow for me a lot of times I just do the breathing exercise and that’s an easy one for people to try you inhale two four hold it for five and exhale two six then you just do that over and over again and it’s amazing how it will clear your mind of the clutter that they call it monkey brain that’s going on at least for me inside my head okay so you’re listening – something while you do that no or not you can I don’t I just sit are you just sitting quiet countin breasts kind of yep I couldn’t do that why well because I count to like three and then I think about what I needed to get done so maybe that’s a good meditation for you to try for two minutes okay so tell me what that would do for me let’s just start there what would that do for me you know me I know you it lowers your anxiety it lowers your breath blood pressure and it helps you focus on what you need to do that day instead of the nine million things that you wake up with in your head so how many breaths do I have to count two minutes takes you okay you’re slows down as time goes on anybody can do it’s called a meditation practice not a meditation get it right the first time I mean like I said I still have days when it’s really hard for me to do my morning meditations it just yeah bottom I just don’t wanna is the bottom line but yeah to me okay then I’m not putting it down but to me thinking about that it almost seems like I don’t know empty time time I could be doing something else kind of thing well and I understand you’re very busy but I think you can spare two minutes a day you know no arguing that wasn’t that wasn’t an arguing oh I can’t it was more of why it might be hard to do it kind of an observation yeah you know and it’s just one of those things that because the mind is so intrinsically linked with the breath regulating the breath pattern is one of the easiest and most natural ways to influence the mind it just did I’m not gonna say every time it takes care of my anxiety but more times than not it helps so I can function and not be curled up in a ball all day okay so probably as your breathing slows your anxiety reduces and you become more focused just that kind of the way it works yes and your blood pressure goes down so it helps your heart also okay and you know as when you say when you say you meditate it’s two minutes counting breaths sometimes and sometimes I can sit for 10-15 minutes and and just be still and let my mind be still all right stillness that is good for you I mean all kinds of research out there and to be still is good for you there are some cultures that do that better than others we in the United States don’t do it very well at all we don’t hold still and when we do hold still it’s because we’ve got a device in one hand and we’re watching another device somewhere else and probably have our homework on our lap yeah whatever well and it kind of goes hand-in-hand with mindfulness too and there’s been a lot of research on mindfulness and you know when you’re in the shower be in the shower when you’re washing dishes wash the dishes that’s a meditation to being present in the moment yeah not multitasking a Medic meditation I mean part of its kind of a philosophy of life to pay attention to what’s going on right now what’s in front of you the person you’re talking with the thing that you’re doing breathing whatever it is to not split your attention and this is when you’re done to move on yeah and this is one place where I’ve really focused on here lately as is instead of lists to respond I’ve been trying to listen just to listen to what people have to say but I don’t have to respond to everything true and that’s part of being mindful well that’s the other thing we don’t do very well is listen to each other right especially in the United States and that’s not so so basically this meditation piece of what we’re gonna talk about is just about slowing down mm-hmm and and being where you’re at you know when I when I’m in my office meditating I am in my office meditating you know when I go to bed I listen to whatever my wife has to say and then I put my earbuds on and listen to a guided meditation most nights okay so tell me about it tell me what that is a guided meditation so a guided meditation is where you listen to somebody speak and they take you on this wondrous journey of peace and tranquility they have a persuade anxiety I I use Insight timer and they’ve got any type of meditation you would want as a guided meditation okay so like they described some place you might go yeah I think you might be down at the beach or you might be on a path in the forest or you might just be laying down you know listening to the water lap around your feet yeah they hang off the Dom oh okay so it’s not it’s more it’s I’m guessing I have never listened to one but I’m guessing it’s more telling you what you’re hearing and what you’re seeing and what you you know but it is describing a place well it’s a little bit of both but what it does is it gives you something to focus on because for me when I go to bed you know I do that am I gonna have a nightmare tonight am I gonna be able to get any sleep but when I can put a guided meditation on and listen to that and focus on that I sleep better hmm okay there’s there’s a lot of different ways you can do meditation there’s you know and and the Beatles started really with them Transcendental Meditation in the 60s so it’s always been around it’s just a matter of it’s finally starting to become more in the stream of conscious of Americans okay so it sounds it sounds like a this complicated thing that you do but basically it’s be still and present and listen and listen it’s not it’s not hard I mean sometimes it’s hard for me but other people you know I know people who can sit down and meditate for an hour or two that’s not who I am are you sure that wait yes that’s not what I I love meditating but I have a busy life and I don’t I don’t want to spend an hour or two hours meditating when I could be out doing something productive for me can you do it when you drive I haven’t I suppose you could as long as you weren’t listening to the sleep meditations I suppose you could listen to them as you drive but there’s also a lot of books out there on just doing the breath work you know and that’s something that you can do anywhere anytime is just focus on your breath in four three hold for four out for five okay so it sounds like two parts really the breathing thing you do and then at some other time you do some kind of a guided meditation right well you’re on a walk or while you’re laying down or whatever right I try and meditate twice a day once in the morning and kind of calm my mind and be still for the day and then at night to help with my anxiety and my fitful sleeping okay I’m gonna try I’m gonna try just I’m gonna have to think about how I’m gonna measure whether it works but I’m gonna try okay you know and it’s one of those things it goes hand in hand with Buddha with Buddhism but Buddhism is not a religion it’s just a way to keep yourself right in the world you know my sponsor calls it keeping the right size because okay so some people aren’t gonna know I don’t mean I don’t know that much about it and some people might even know less than I do can you I mean deep you a teaching moment okay just something about Buddhism well Buddha was an activist in that he actively encouraged people to think for themselves but that is very different from telling people what to think so where religion tells you what to think Buddhism tells you to think for yourself and that’s the biggest difference okay so can you can you like be a Christian and a Buddhist absolutely okay Christian and Buddhist you can be a theist in Buddhist the Buddha was not a God he was just the person that wanted to get people to think for themselves okay so unless you’re um you know unless you are a member of a religious organization that part of it is telling you how to think which I guess they all do a little bit but not all as much as others continuum that’s the continuum is it but so then you could like double-dip you can get benefits above absolutely there’s lots of people that are in an organized religion that practice Buddhism because you know back to meditation I mean like prayer is kind of a form of meditation absolutely isn’t it absolutely I mean you’re kind of present in the moment thinking about I mean you know hopefully others in the world or whatever you’re kind of present in the moment oh my god when you said that it reminded me I guess I’ve been meditating since I was about in third grade and I had to start doing the Hail Marys and the Lord’s Prayer in Catholic school when I would have to go do my penance [Laughter] let’s just say more than most of the others as I asked the question yeah you know I got caught stealing wine out of the nunnery when I was nine so I did a lot of penance that’s the beginning of another problem yes well yeah several other problems we’ll just say all right but but you know we talked about some of those and you’ve rained a whole lot in and and you have much wisdom now my friend well but again it goes back to community to stay right sighs because I have enough time and a big enough ego that the years in my sobriety don’t do me any good anymore that I have to remember the days and I think that’s what doing a meditation program reminds me of it’s just to be grateful for the days and not think about the years because my years can hijack my ego in like two seconds yeah cuz you’re like a big cheese in the group well I’d say that but well but I mean you you are you longest would be the larger chunk of cheese right right yeah but you know it that’s the other thing that you know and my sponsor pounds it in my head that I have to stay right size because when you start counting the years and not the days that’s when you drink you kind of forget what it’s all about like you forget by counting the years I’m thinking you kind of remove yourself from the struggle well you know what it’s just this mentality of oh I’ve got this oh yeah that’s what Iranians I don’t have to work with a sponsor I don’t have to work with spawn seas I’ve got this and when I start thinking like that my sobriety is in peril so do a lot of fun this is stupid question number I don’t know how many a lot of folks in AAA do they meditate yes that’s part of it it’s one of our steps sought through prayer and meditation to to use our contact with our with our higher power paraphrasing there cuz I got a little long but it’s prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with our higher power so but not as many people in AAA probably use it as they should and I am as in religiously right then see I don’t know I’d have a hard time saying I do it religiously but I do it more days than I don’t do it I to me I suppose would be do you do it on the days you need to do it no those are the days I don’t do it because I you know I’m just thinking there are days that a person is more anxious than others some folks aren’t that anxious it is all a continuum yes but even for those have anxiety under control they have days a job interview that’s coming up or whatever when they’re cranked man your sand meditation would help them absolutely and I’m trying to get better about when I need it that I can go to it because it really is a good tool in my spiritual toolbox I love it I’m gonna try it then I’m sure you’re gonna yeah you’ll ask me how it went I’m sure I will but there’s there’s one quote from the Buddha that kind of talks about the mindfulness and the meditation it says as you walk and eat and travel be where you are otherwise you will miss the most of your life huh and that’s a nice place for us to end another good conversation very good until next week you’ve been listening to coffee break with KA and Dana meaningful conversations from a lesbian perspective were brought to you by the lesbian talk show listen to us on pot bean and iTunes follow us on Twitter like us on Facebook until next week be kind to one another for car and watch amazing things happen in your corner of the world [Music]