Saturday, September 01, 2007

MEDITATION CHALLENGE | Day One

The mind - or the ego - always finds a way to sabotage our best intentions; I stayed in bed this morning just to avoid having to meditate. This meant I finally kicked myself out of bed around 10 am, when I'm usually up by 5 am.

I used to keep to a daily meditation schedule, twice a day, mornings and nights. It was one of those practice that made life and its ensuring chaos seem a little more manageable. Or maybe it just kept my emotions more manageable, and allowed me to deal with bad situations more intelligently.

Things have been feeling a little off-centre recently. I also noticed that the tiniest mishaps or rudeness from colleagues can set me off. Just showing up for yoga classes is not enough. I know I need to sit.

For the first week of the 28 Days Meditation Challenge, I'm supposed to meditate for 20 minutes, twice a day. I allowed myself to sit a little longer this morning because my mind kept drifting. I compared my state of mind this morning to the days when I still maintained a regular practice, and the difference is obvious: Instead of just observing my in-and-out breath, I started thinking about meditating and about the last episode of House I watched last night. My thoughts kept running away with me, and it took a while before I remember to rein them back to the breath. This 28 days will be more challenging than I had expected.

Let's hope tonight I will be more focused.

4 comments:

jenclair said...

Maybe keeping a daily meditation schedule would help me. How do you keep track of the 20 minutes?

Dark Orpheus said...

I have a timer on my watch, so it beeps after 20 minutes. A friend of mine recommends incense that burn for a certain amount of time - say 15~30 minutes. So your meditation lasts about the length of the incense. Plus, it helps to ritualise the meditation practice.

Chris said...

I used to meditate and would like to get back to it...I studied from a book called The Three Pillars of Zen by Phillip Kapleau..ever heard of it?

I remember having the same problem at the beginning. My mind would wander and I would have a hard time just focusing on breating, but gradually as time would pass and I became more comfortable with it, the focus would come easier. I'd like to get back into it...I really do think it helped.

I suspect that you'll fall back into it in no time!

Dark Orpheus said...

Chris Oh yes, "Three Pillars of Zen" is one of the classics. I came into meditation through Thich Naht Hanh myself, and I've been trying to get "return to basics" - just counting the breath, and trying to anchor myself to my in-out breath.

Thanks for the encouragement Chris. It feels odd sometimes, to come back to something like you're a newbie. And everything starts from zero again. I really want to keep it up. And hopefully continue the practice after the 28 days.

And if you ever want to get back to meditate, don't let anything stop you.