I’m two weeks into an experiment of making meditation a habit. It’s something I’ve dabbled with in the past but could never turn into a regular routine.
I’ve tried multiple apps throughout the years, the current one of choice is Headspace. Each session is 10 minutes, great for beginners. Today is day 14 (or roundabout) of the journey and I’ve only done five sessions so far. That’s ok. I realize it’s going to take a while to make it part of my daily life. It’s not easy.
But even after just these five sessions I’m finding it easier to focus my mind. The first couple were really tough and my brain was all over the place. I certainly still struggle with my mind wandering, but I’m able to gently pull myself back to being present in the moment.
I like the way the creators of the app describe meditation and training our mind to focus. It’s not about simply shutting out thoughts or stamping out feelings. It’s more about learning how to recognize them and be at peace with them.
Training our mind is about changing our relationship with the passing thoughts and feelings. Learning how to view them with a little more perspective. And when we do this we naturally find a place of calm.
They describe it with the metaphor of watching traffic. Your thoughts and feelings are like cars on a busy highway. When we train our mind, we’re learning to just sit and watch the traffic.
We’re not trying to control the thoughts. Not jumping out in front of cars to stop them or direct them. Don’t chase the cars because that just puts your mind in a more restless state. Let them just pass through while you briefly reflect on them before they’re gone.
I’m hoping to stick with it because I really do feel more focused and calm after this latest session. I’m going to try to document this journey as best I can, mostly for myself. When I come across inspiration or insightful reflections it will be nice to have a record of it. Maybe it will help me keep the benefits in view when I become discouraged.