It’s been 100… actually 130 days that I have been meditating every single day.
I’m sharing my observations and hints for those of you who want to try.
Why did I start?
At the beginning of every new year I label that year with just one word.
2016 was the year of “balance”. To balance my over-thinking nature.
Meditation was a tool I had read about before, but never decided to try.
Vishen Lakhiani (“The Code of the Extraordinary Mind”) provided me with the first tool (Omvana) that led to further research.
What do I mean by meditation?
I sit in silence with my eyes closed following guidance from an iPhone app and generally focus on my breath.
I have tested a few of those and chose Headspace.
I like the calming voice, friendly non-intellectual design and a variety of programs available.
When you start there is only one program available — “Take 10”.
It is a free set of 10 days of 10-minute guided meditation.
How did I practice?
With practice I extended my everyday meditation time to 20 minutes a day.
After finishing “Take 10” and another two blocks of basic training I did programs on “Anxiety”, “Appreciation”, “Patience”, “Balance”, Generosity”.
Now I’m going through the “Headspace Pro” program.
I find it best to sit for 20 minutes as the first thing in the morning, but I meditated in a variety of weird places such as: an ironing room at the hotel in Riga (don’t ask), Uber on the way to work, Beijing airport, plane to New Zealand and at home next to my favourite plants.
What are the results (for me)?
- I experience an enhanced state of calm. People keep asking me “Why are you so calm?”.
- I feel that there is some space between myself and feelings / thoughts that arise in my head. I don’t get involved in them automatically.
- When I get angry I feel it only at the surface. It doesn’t disturb me as it used to: the heart pounding and a whole day of re-thinking the situation. It easier for me to get over situations now.
- I experience flashbacks during meditation — I see experiences and thoughts from the previous day popping up. I thought all these emotions were long gone. But they do show up, when given space. That gives a deeper layer of reflection.
- I used to be anxious all the time. Mostly about the future and my survival. Now I can sit in silence and be very calm.
- Improved relationships with others — I believe I am becoming a much better listener — I am very curious about other people — what they think, feel. It is more pleasant to interact and it is useful.
- Discipline — it is a habit that can be a great start to discipline as it is the first thing done in the morning. It helped me improve my morning routine.
- I feel that it’s a process where you let go of all perfectionism. Some days it is very difficult to sit and meditate. I catch myself engaged with thoughts all the time. The thing is not to try to change it, but to observe and let go.
Is meditation for you?
You can find a lot of research showing that meditation works and develops your brain.
If you feel you lack some calmness, you get angry often or you worry a lot — just try it.
Download and test different apps, take your time.
And don’t expect any result after the first few times. Just enjoy the time for yourself. And maybe you will be surprised.
Is it for you or not? You will not know unless you try. Just invest 10 minutes to find out for yourself. I hope your life quality will improve.