Let me first amplify the kinds of notions that cross many people’s minds when the idea of meditating daily is mentioned:
"See, I’d like to meditate but I alone have a uniquely busy internal voice, my mind always has all these thoughts coming up, so I just can’t do it, because the fascinating complexity of my brain is too much to handle!
Also, I lack the bare minimum requirements of a mountain-top retreat in Peru, Tibet, or Atlantis, surrounded by calmly drifting clouds, and when I try to sit cross-legged on the floor completely immobile for the many hours daily I feel like I should be spending in perfect meditational states, my bum hurts.
None of these things affect other people but I’m different/special/worse than them and therefore the benefits of meditation will never be mine."
Let me clarify:
Have you been told that you must stop your thoughts entirely so that you can meditate? This restrictive belief prevents many people from exploring meditation, and leads to a division between the self and the mind. Such needless fears about mental chatter may prevent you from enjoying meditation as a meaningful activity — something that you can practice in a mindfully focused, and yet truly personal way.
Even if you do quiet the mental chatter somewhat, your attempt to make the chatter completely cease produces resistance and self-judgment. When you realize that mind chatter does not stop you from meditating, then your meditations become easier, and deeper, because you are not divided against yourself.
You are not trying to stop the mental chatter. And you are not preoccupied with the chatter, either. Well, you may ask, just what are your options when you meditate? Keep reading for answers…
So my challenge for people who find this hard, is this - read that article, read it twice if it helps, then:
sign up on here
log in daily from today, Monday 24th July to Monday 31st to post whether or not you got your time-slot in, and how you feel - you can do 3 minutes, 5 minutes, or until you feel silence and peace in your mind, or set a longer timer (the three minutes you do daily is better than the 20m you can never quite seem to find) but be consistant for this week, don’t try for 15m today and end up doing “until something comes up that I find more distracting” by Thursday
share anything related, like what worked or didn’t work, and anything else that’s relevant.
△ “Monkey minds everywhere demand a Dislike button for this thread!”
Things that might help:
let go of expectations about this, ahead of time - the point is to be present, to DO, not to “spectator” your own performance, or rank yourself against anyone else, including your own past experiences
visualise a dot, or Rune, or stay focused on the feeling of the breath coming in and out of your nose
saying SO in your mind as you breathe in, and HUM as you breathe out - helpful if you have trouble with anything like silence in your mind
playing classical or other music without vocals in the background, or imagining a piece of music you like playing in your mind to replace internal dialogue
remember you don’t need to do this “right” - your mind WILL wander, seemingly compelling and important thoughts WILL appear, you can do a 3 minute brain dump first to help with those, and remember to just gently bring your mind back to focus on your breathing.
By the end of this week, you, too, can be someone who breezily “meditates daily” and it will have started to form a new habit, given you a new understanding of how your mind operates, and how the real You transcends the passing thoughts and mental chatter that arise within your noggin.
△ (And if you look this hot, photos welcome! jk…)
I’ll get this started, I got mine in just now between typing that and starting this paragraph:
Location - home office, seated in chair with back straight and hands in lap, bare feet flat on floor
Timeslot - 3m timed on phone
Environment - random traffic noise, purring cat, daylight
Notes - feeling of incredible sweetness, like champagne bubbling up from a well, combined with the pressing urge to open my eyes and share all about how awesome the meditation (which I would therefore no longer be doing) felt - then sudden feeling of insecurity over whether I’m even meditating “correctly” and maybe shouldn’t post about it all and just wipe this - random urge to open my eyes and see if I had any new e-mail - sudden certainty the timer was set to 30m and I was going to be late for a call I need to make.
That’s the highlights I recall of how my mind tried to fuck with me by doing what in 99% of cases is its job - looking out for things, communicating with the world, making sure I don’t fuck things up.
So, does anyone want to join me - this isn’t btw an exercise in noting what comes up to distract you, I just wanted to share my own process on a perfectly normal day doing 3m, to give an idea of how one person might experience this. I probably won’t do that again, because it’s just clutter - if I get the secret for cold fusion or the flux capacitor, I’ll be sure to note it down, but not otherwise.