8 of #100DaysToOffload
I don't care what science says; I'll check that out in more detail sometime.
I love meditating because it has helped me develop a calmer outlook on life.
I explored meditation for mental health reasons following my late father's cancer diagnosis. Eleven years later, and I still practice.
At the risk of sounding all meta-physical, I often find my mind sorts itself out when I meditate. For example, if I have forgotten something important, my mind gives me a nudge about it. Or, if I'm struggling to think of something to write for #100DaysToOffload, topic ideas arrive from somewhere.
For years I felt embarrassed to admit to the practice, sneaking up to the study in secret to achieve my 20 minutes.
It wasn't long before I realised how popular meditation had become. From the plethora of books, apps and YouTube videos, there's no shortage of advice.
During the eleven years, I've made some mistakes that could have jeopardised my practice. But I'm grateful to have maintained a commitment; perhaps not every day, but most days.
Here are some things you should avoid if you want to get the most from a meditation practice.
Meditation needs to be a habit, or it goes from a once a day practice to once a week before fizzling out. Meditate every day when possible, including on vacations. Nobody will know what you're doing on the sun lounger.
The media portray meditation as a cure-all for stress and health problems but keep an open mind. You'll learn more about how you think, your thoughts and emotions. Don't expect anything.
A popular misconception is that meditation silences your thoughts. Instead, meditation is about watching your thoughts, so don't try to block out thinking during a session. Let ideas come and go.
Same Time, Same Place
A regular place for meditation is helpful (mine's the comfy chair in the study), but a change of scene can keep your practice enjoyable. You can meditate anywhere from the car park, garden or on your favourite walk.
#Meditation is free. I support an app subscription to get you started, but after a short time, continuous guided meditations can defeat the overall purpose.
Once you have some experience, ditch the expensive apps. The app corporations are only after your money to keep the investors happy.
Don't be embarrassed about meditation. If you keep your practice hidden from others, you could prevent someone else from discovering the approach.
Meditation is not hippy-drippy or meta-physical. Meditation is a practice that has lasted for thousands of years. Humans meditate for a reason.
My downfall was to leave mediation until late in the evening. That's when I find staying awake a challenge.
Thanks to shifting to home-working, due to the coronavirus pandemic, I can meditate during the day when, contrary to what some colleagues believe, I am awake.
There is no such thing as a good or bad meditation session. Variation is a fact, and while meditating every day is ideal, it's not essential. Try to be regular but most important, is to relax and enjoy it.
You don't need to cross your legs and pinch your fingers as in the lotus position. I would meditate for about one minute if that were a rule.
You can sit up straight in a chair with hands on your lap, sit behind the wheel of your car, or stand in a queue. All you need to do is keep it simple and comfortable.
I can't say I have meditation down to a fine art. I'll be learning until the day I die; on this and just about every aspect of life.
Take care. ❤️