Meditation Report

Over the past week I’ve been trying to begin my meditation practice. I took notes every day of my experiences and the information I gathered below.

Day One:  Failure.  I decided to just close my eyes and go for it.  Tried to clear my mind of all the noise.  I was traveling for work, alone in a hotel room and thought it would be easy to just sit, relax and embrace meditation.  It didn’t work.  I was fidgety.  I heard every noise in a quarter mile radius of my room.  In my stronger moments, I had a song going through my head, “Taivas on Sininen”, a Finnish folksong I sang in choir years ago.  I’m sure that the song wasn’t necessarily a bad thing to have going on in my head, but once I started thinking about why this song, I couldn’t stop the flood of other things going on my head or the itchiness of my mosquito bites from stopping my first attempt.

Days Two and Three:  Total failures.  On Monday, my meeting went from 8 am to 5:30 pm and then dinner took until 9.  Honestly, I completely forgot and just went to bed after taking care of some emails.  Tuesday involved a meeting until 2 pm and then an 8 hour drive home.  Forgive me!

Day Four:  Ah, home sweet home.  I thought I would have an easier time meditating alone, in an empty hotel room, but that was clearly not the case. I sat slouched on the couch in a most unprofessional meditative position, in the dark and began humming at the same tone as the fan… and then my dog promptly licked my face and barked at me. After I put him in a downstay, I continued on, with a much more impressive showing than my previous attempts. I didn’t have any revelations, or visions, but I was able to really focus on just the humming and breathing (and wondering how much time had passed). I only ended up doing it for 10 minutes, but afterwards I felt something in my chest. It was like my heart and lungs were calm… if that makes any sense. It almost made me want to skip Top Chef and enjoy the silence… almost.

Day Five:  This stress has started getting to me lately and although my experience the day before was encouraging, I had too many things on my mind to remember to meditate.  It reminds me of something a pastor once said in a sermon, and that is that on the days you feel like you don’t need communion or don’t have time for it… that is probably the time you need it the most.  I think today I probably needed a moment to meditate more than the other days, yet I shrugged it off.

Day Six:  Today the stress was still present and a sore throat has emerged, but I was determined to take the time to try to meditate again.  I didn’t hum or sing out loud because of the sore throat, and I definitely missed it.  Like the first day, I had a hard time focusing and quickly gave up.  The noise in my head overwhelmed me in the silence of the room.  I think I really need that chant to ground myself and focus.

Day Seven:  I tried to meditate in bed before going to sleep.  No humming today because I didn’t want to interrupt my husband’s reading.  I had a hard time focusing, probably because I was worried about disturbing him.  I gave up quickly and went to sleep.

So that was my week in meditation.  I didn’t do so well in consistency and no miracles occurred, but I wasn’t really expecting anything crazy.  I think it something I want to keep on trying though, now that I have a better idea about what/where was sort of working and what didn’t work at all.  I like the idea of focusing on spending some time in quiet reflection, and I think that meditation will be a great way to focus on that.

I went into the whole thing blindly, other than what I had read in Eat, Pray, Love.  However, I think I’m going to take the opportunity to gather more information and advice on my practice in the coming weeks.  I think my in-laws have some experience with meditation and our downstairs neighbor moved here after studying at an ashram in India for a few months.  I believe there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to meditate, but some guidance from others more experienced couldn’t hurt, could it?

I also have gathered a few website on meditation practices and benefits.  Feel free to check them out or share any you know of with me.

Any tips from experienced meditators?  Have you tried meditation and given up?

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