A report on one month of daily meditation
As promised a month ago, here is a report on a month of meditation.
Despite some real challenges, I managed to complete a month of daily meditation, and found some tricks and strategies to keep going, and will report again in another month.
By coincidence, as the New Year began, I found that a blog I occasionally look at, Wildmind, had issued a 100 day meditation challenge. I took this as a great opportunity to join a virtual “community” of meditators.
It turns out that a mobile app called Insight Timer was promoted, and I ended up immediately buying it for both iOS (for our iPad) and Android (for my phone). I had intended to buy a meditation app anyway, since it was time for me to stop being stingy (I had been using an adware version of a meditation app on iOS earlier).
I liked that this app not only existed on both iOS and Android (I expected to use the meditation app on my phone in case of travel and when finding quiet moments out of the home in general), but also provided a virtual community that showed who is meditating “with” you at any moment around the world using the app. When the going gets tough, I find it useful to remember that other people are also doing what they can to maintain their meditation practice.
Just as has happened repeatedly before, challenges popped up as the month progressed. For various reasons, my schedule was modified and so was Abby’s, and since we again had tried to meditate together, this led to some tough situations when we didn’t get in meditation as our first activity in the morning upon getting out of bed.
My first hope was that, well, we missed that moment, but maybe we could make it up later in the day. So on a weekend, if we got up at different times, maybe we could meditate before lunch.
This was a big mistake. It is very difficult to get back together to meditate when we have both started our days with numerous chores that we don’t want to interrupt. In fact, we ended up twice in January having fights in which Abby did not want to meditate when I was ready to do so, and the conflicts in turn made me not want to meditate either. In any case, it was very stressful negotiating every single day whether we would meditate together.
The fundamental solution was to decouple meditation from Abby, who clearly did not particularly value meditation. People will differ on what they consider priorities in their lives. It was a fundamental mistake returning to my faint hope that Abby and I would sustain a joint meditation practice. I have to take full responsibility for my own practice, just as I have again done so with my physical exercise, which had also been disrupted once I met Abby years ago.
Abby made a good suggestion, which was that I should meditate by myself, but we could sometimes meditate together also, but that this should be considered a supplemental activity because it might or might not happen any given day.
The other thing to note is that even after this decoupling of meditation activity, I was still having some problems with meditation because of the changes in my own routines, so by no means was Abby to blame for my difficulties. Often I felt “rushed” to get stuff done upon waking up, and delayed meditation to before bedtime. This was a symptom that something was wrong with my life, of course. If I can’t spare 10 minutes in the morning to meditate, and am really so “busy”, then clearly I have too many things going on in my life. January turned out to be much busier than I had originally wanted. This happened despite my previous knowledge that for many people, January ends up too busy because of decisions to take up new habits at the beginning of the year! Oops. I hope I start January 2014 better than I did January 2013.
Despite setbacks, I did manage to go through an entire month of January with daily meditation. I will, of course, report back after the month of February on my progress in the 100 day meditation challenge.comments powered by Disqus