Sunday, February 5, 2017

Meditation: one year later

Last year I have made a new year's resolution to meditate daily. Here is my Meditation blog post from last year.

This year new year's resolution

It worked. I have made a meditation habit. I meditate 20 minutes every morning. I see it as the most important habit I have. It has become so essential to my life that I couldn't even imagine how it used to be without meditation. Maybe you already know when I am heading with this. So I will tell you. This year I made the opposite new year's resolution. To stop meditating for a week as an experiment to see what happens.

The "stop meditating for a week" experiment

On the first of January 2017 I have moved to a new apartment. I didn't meditate that day. Instead I set up an notification in my calendar to start meditating next week on Monday, January 9. The next day I got sick and I have spent the first week of 2017 in bed so my daily routine was ruined because of that. I have read a book. I have watched YouTube videos. I have spent a lot of time on Facebook. At the following weekend on 6th and 7th of January I felt lonely and sad and I was without any hope. I couldn't see which changes were caused by stopping meditation which by being sick and which by moving. To many variables have changed at the same time. It is a bad experimental set up. Anyway I am not going to repeat the experiment.

Recreating the meditation habit

Do you remember the calendar notification on Monday, January 9? Well, it didn't help. I fell asleep too late the previous day. I woke up too late in the morning. I was eager to go to work. There was just no time for meditation. At least that is what I have been telling to myself at that time. Surprise, surprise on Tuesday has happened the same thing. I didn't meditate again. On Wednesday, I forced myself to meditate and finally it did happen, yay :-)

Being happy ever after

It took me another two weeks to recreate the meditation habit. Till the end of January my overall feeling of well-being was still on a downward trajectory. That's a fancy way of saying that was in a deep shit. After those two weeks at the beginning of February it starting getting better. I have my goals. I work on them daily. I have my meditation habit. What could possibly go wrong? Well, I will be moving again, but that's another story.

Tangible benefits of meditation

Now back to meditation. Why is it so important to me? What are the tangible benefits meditation brings me? The tangible benefits are that the meditation helps me to answer the questions "What do I want?" and "How do I make myself to actually do it?" both at the same time. If I really, really want something I just stand up and do it. There is no "make myself to do something" part in that scenario.

Meditation connects everything

Many activities like playing games, sports, sex, dancing, listening to music, driving lead to similar outcome like meditation. It makes you to stop being in your head thinking about past or future and it makes you to be in a present moment. But meditation goes to the core. It removes all the external stuff. Meditation directly trains your ability to control your own thoughts, to turn down the crazy monkey mind we all have.

My meditation technique

What is my meditation technique? The best way of answering that question is by transcribing my chat with Alenka:

  • Alenka: What is your meditation technique?
  • Me: I don't have a technique. I just sit and do nothing.
  • Alenka: What if some thought comes into your mind?
  • Me: I let it go.
  • Alenka: So, that's your technique.

Tips for meditation newbies 

My tips for starting meditating

  1. As all the Buddhist monks would recommend. Use an egg timer. How on Earth would you know when to stop without an egg timer? Seriously egg timer really helps me to focus on activity not only meditation
  2. Sit straight up. Either on a ground or a chair but no leaning towards backrest
  3. Do it daily without exceptions. A one month challenge of 2 minutes meditation every day is a good start.
  4. I find morning best time for meditation
  5. Watch this video: How To Meditate - The No Bullshit Guide to Meditation