Meditation. You’ve probably heard of it. There’s a chance people you know do it. Maybe you’ve tried it yourself. It is said to make you healthier, happier and overall just a better person. So I thought I’d give it a try.
One of the definitions of meditation in the dictionary says: meditation is a continued or extended thought, reflection or contemplation. It also explains meditation as a religious contemplation or a spiritual introspection. As you can see, meditation may be different for different people. Along the road of my meditation process, I learned that I like the spiritual introspection thing the best, even though I would maybe phrase it a little differently. Ah well. Can’t have it all.
I tried meditating for the first time back in April last year. I tried out all these guided meditation apps and ended up with headspace. For me, guided meditations was the way to get into meditating, as I could not imagine myself sitting down in silence, trying to do the whole thinking and contemplating process all by myself. There are lots of apps for your phone that offer guided meditations. Even if they only offer a trial version, it’s the perfect method to find out if meditation is something for you.
After trying all these guided meditations, I’m a little ashamed to say I quit for a while. This was mostly due to the fact that all the guided meditations I had tried were at least 10-15 minutes and I just could not get myself to sit down for that long every day. So when I regretted quitting meditation, I decided to take a different approach.
By then I knew how to meditate. I had listened to all these different people, tried all their different meditations and had a feel of what I wanted from a meditation sessions. I downloaded another app (Calm), one that offered timed unguided meditations with nature background sounds. Every morning when I’m all dressed and ready to go, I take an extra 5 minutes to sit down on a comfortable pillow, close my eyes and meditate away. Thanks to all the different guided meditations I have listened to, I’ve developed some techniques to try and keep my mind from wondering (among my favourites are: counting my breath from 1-5 and pretending my thoughts are cars that can drive away). I only do 5 minutes for that is the only way I’m able to keep this everyday meditating thing up and really I want to keep doing it.
I do feel the benefits of a short daily sit down with myself. I feel a bit calmer throughout the day. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep doing this for a long while to come. Even if the benefits are minuscule, it’s worthwhile. Minuscule benefits are benefits too, you know.