My Meditation Journey
I started meditating for 60 minutes a day.
I felt like I had lost some attention of mine. And I read on hacker news about doing 60 minutes a day for 60 days. Hopefully this is just an eternal practice.
My first day. It started off… okay. I was seeing a lot of thoughts. But that’s normal. But once I get to like 15 minutes it felt impossible. Literally my body’s like restlessness kicked in. And I couldn’t sit still at all. It was impossible. I was also super tired and I was dozing off and had to catch myself. But in the moment, I could not sit still for the life of me. I couldn’t even feel like I was traditionally meditating. I felt so out of control. My mind was so displeased. Thoughts were racing and it was just the feeling of pure restlessness. I made it to 60 minutes but it was torturous.
This is day two. I am very surprised this was SOO much easier. It was literally insane. I felt relatively present the whole time. It was only somewhat restless in the last ten minutes. Of course I wasn’t sitting perfectly still. But at no point did I feel the urge to stop meditating and give up. It was more of a hey, I don’t know how long it’s been, and maybe a little bit of I want to be done, but very doable to keep sitting. I’m taken aback by how drastically that’s shifted. I also haven’t touched my phone in forever. It’s insane.
This is day three. Today was easier than day two. I had no instinct to get up at all. My level of movement while meditating has gone down is nice. Of course, I still have a couple types of thought, one to check time, two to body events, sleepiness, and finally to general thoughts. Still feel very in control of my day which is really cool. I’ve actually been super productive the past few days. It’s honestly amazing. Like work hasn’t felt like a burden. Obviously some things are still harder or require more effort than others, but I’m less inclined to give up.
Honestly, my day 1 self would be quite surprised I made it this far. So, here’s what we got. Today was new because I wasn’t sleepy and also I was on caffeine. What I discovered was caffeine gives you mental momentum. Whatever state you’re in, it’s easier to stay in that state. It also creates lots of amazing ideas in your head. Today I was very settled actually. At no point did I feel an inclination to leave my practice. However, the flow of my thoughts was very interesting. At first I found myself on my breath for longer periods of time than usual, with the occasional thought of surprise about this arising. However, once I started having thoughts, they dragged on for significantly longer. So it really changes up the experience. As usual the frequency of the thoughts increased towards the end. So overall great day 😀
This day was hard. I don’t know why so hard. Not in the sense of like me wanting to get up. But in the sense of me bringing myself back to awareness. This is primarily because I was super sleepy. It just took so much effort to bring myself back into awareness. And it was a real struggle. I still stuck for the hour. However, the cycle of in and out of thought took a lot longer, and then bringing myself back, was very slow. Nonetheless, it does demonstrate the huge impact lack of sleep can have on one’s thought process, even though we may not realize it at first.
This day reminded me how important beginners mind is. It’s the idea of always approaching your practice with no preconceived notions or expectations of how they should be. Today I felt relatively “distracted”. I had a lot of thoughts, and it took longer than usual to regain awareness. Once again I am a little bit more sleepy than I should be, so this should expected and another reminder of how sleep is important. However, I also had some other realizations. Recently I haven’t been giving as much awareness to those little thoughts that quickly fade away, the ones I can just keep counting through. I treated them as if they weren’t relevant. But these thoughts are just as much thoughts as anything else, and acknowledging their presence is also important. I have a feeling that every day of this practice will surprise me in its own way, with new “challenges” and experiences.
Wow. Again. Sleep is so important. I for some reason am doing very poorly with that. By this point I’m quite used to sitting. Of course a lot of effort is required when I’m sleepy to sit comfortably. But besides that if feels very natural as a part of my day.
… and by this point sometime shortly after I lost the habit. However… it does appear that I can confidently jump back into meditating for long periods of time.