1 Year of Meditation: What I’ve Learned

, , Leave a comment


Hi guys after having edited most of the video I realized that I have a tendency to speak very seriously That’s just kind of how I talk when I talk about things that are important to me But the idea behind this piece was to make meditation seem more approachable and not so scary or impossible So just take this as a fellow amateur sharing what he has discovered so far. I I thought I would sit down and share some thoughts on my experiences with meditation over the last year and what I’ve learned making this because I think Meditation is the single habit that has most improved the quality of my life It has done so in kind of an invisible way And so I thought I would share some Resources and some advice to help make this habit stick in the long term because I know it can be really hard I’m also making this because there are so many misconceptions Misconceptions that I’ve had and it’s really unfortunate I think a lot of people are looking for quick solutions and by people I really mean myself Give me something that will fix what I’m feeling right now I think you’ve all know a Harare said it brilliantly one of the biggest dangers and meditation is the pursuit of special experiences I’ve come to see meditation as a way of getting to know my own mind of Observing what’s going on inside? I haven’t meditated every single day over the last year But I have been by far the most consistent with it that I’ve ever been I’d say probably close to Or maybe a little bit over 300 times Over the last year if I had to guess I know this might not seem like a huge accomplishment But I’m really happy with myself for continually coming back to it working at it putting the effort in and Incorporating it into my life. I’ve always been a fidgety and anxious child In some ways I still am And so this was no small endeavour Let’s first get some context here Why start meditating regurarly, right? Last summer, I finished a huge project that had consumed my life for like six months Once it came to a close I was once again finding myself asking the question What do I want to do with my life, you know the angst the existential crisis? Typical millennial I think I was looking for solutions. Maybe not so much to my immediate questions but to my general approach I was really tired of making rash decisions You know being so reactive to everything. I was looking for ways to find more clarity, you know, preferably internally So I started experimenting with stuff and that’s how I’ve been living for the last year meditation was one of the first places that I started but it’s something that I always put off and was extremely inconsistent with like One or two times a year maximum practically nothing so I thought all right I’ll start simple, you know No pressure or a little pressure just enough to push myself to just try and do it on a regular basis That seems to be the best way to build new habits I got the app headspace and I loved it not sponsored by them It definitely has its limitations, but it was an amazing place to start and like I said I started small, so Five minutes or even three minutes at a time sometimes in the morning sometimes at night Pretty simple a little bit disorganized but more than anything. I think I was familiarizing myself with this feeling of closing my eyes and entering this internal foreign world You build up streaks in the app, but I don’t really give a shit about that I would miss days There was no guilt or anything. Like I said low expectations I did not become a pro overnight and I was fully aware of that. Actually. This is worth addressing right now even a year on I totally consider myself an amateur still and I might feel like this for the rest of my life who knows just being fully honest here meditation is still really hard But just like anything else the relationship kind of changes and easier isn’t the right word It’s more like it has become more approachable and I have seen time and again the value that it adds to my life So again some days I would meditate twice some days I would miss out completely and then at the beginning of this year as many of you have seen I Charged myself to try meditating for a full hour a day for an entire week I kind of threw myself off the deep end with that and it was super difficult, but it also Kind of turbocharged the whole thing for me this challenge made meditation a kind of experiment on myself really and After this experience during and after this experience, I came to see meditation, you know in a different light I was starting to consider it a lot more seriously I don’t think I actually recommend doing things this way And to suddenly increase the amount of time meditating in such a like a such a short period of time But it was eye-opening and I remember mentioning at one point in the video that it felt like there was a whole universe to explore In my mind, it’s it’s exciting because it’s like a reminder that there’s so much more to life It’s not just the superficial games that we all play 99% of the time it made me realize that 30 minutes Once you build up the muscle is not that long Getting to know yourself is a priority then you make the time for it Like I said in the beginning of this piece the biggest benefits feel almost invisible Spending time quietly by myself following my breath observing my thoughts Feeling different parts of my body Listening to the sounds around me Brings a sense of clarity that I don’t think you can get any other way I honestly think that it has helped me build up a little more patience for when things go to hell and A little bit more compassion. It is an amazing tool on catching yourself on your own bullshit and Realizing that like 95% of what I’m freaking out about right now. It has been invented in my own mind It’s a way to walk closer You know in the direction of many of my fears instead of running away from them and confront them That’s not to say that it doesn’t suck sometimes. I mean, I would say that I still spend more than 90% of the time Following random trails of thoughts and being scattered getting pulled this way in that way You know, I’ll be just being all over the place, but it’s part of the process. It’s not good or bad There is no good or bad So let’s talk a little bit about how to build this habit so that you can keep in the long-term first I’m just gonna speak for myself here I think the best meditations happen early in the morning before engaging too much with the world and getting sucked into things Meditating when you’re sleep-deprived makes it so much more difficult to stay awake, especially when you’re not used to it So I always recommend sleeping enough if you needed yet another reason to get the proper amount of sleep. There you go I really believe you should give meditation the time that it deserves So if that means scheduling it in then do that I mean even just five minutes or three minutes, like I said is a great starting place It always helps me to remind myself of two things. Why am I doing this in the first place and how it has positively impacted me in the past. And when I remember these two things, it’s like there’s absolutely no reason not to do it I realize or I remember if you will then It’s like the more or less the best time I spent all day posture is super important I’ve had very poor posture in the past and even just being mindful about it And making a little bit of an effort can have a positive impact. There are plenty of great tutorials out there I don’t feel qualified enough to give that kind of advice but I will say that I find having some sort of back support helps a ton Do not get frustrated with yourself. Every time you catch yourself going down some long winded trail of thoughts. Just bring the focus back Ten a hundred a thousand ten thousand times if nothing else this is a practice in patience and focus and compassion with yourself in presence I’m anticipating questions about this So basically right now where I’m at is I’m meditating five or six times a week on average For like 20 or 30 minutes sometimes more but I do still occasionally miss days And the way I like to do it now is I sit down and try and journal Often I’ll like write down some things that I’m grateful for And that kind of gets me in the right place to sit down and meditate Reading about meditation or listening if it’s an audio book has helped tremendously and having a lot more Context about everything Sam Harris is incredible. He wrote a book called waking up that I very much enjoyed He’s very articulate and he brings kind of a Western perspective on things I would also very much recommend reading the writings of Thich Nhat Hanh for me He has more of an Eastern perspective, but I’m making very large crude Generalizations I’ve mentioned him before he’s a Vietnamese monk and he’s been very prolific as a writer I’m currently reading this one, which is in Italian “Ogni istante è un dono” this book and the other stuff that I’ve read that he has written is so eloquently written So simple to understand so even if you feel like you’re such a beginner in this whole world It’s his words make sense. In English the title is “Inside the Now: Meditations on Time”. So I’ll link to this too and for the record this book isn’t necessarily like how-to on how to meditate it’s more like food for thought and Context again for why you’re meditating. You know, what’s the point? What is this search for and I would add that It’s great to go in to things with as few expectations as possible. Let the experience surprised you or not I mean, this is reality I see life as a process of peeling back the layers You know always digging deeper and going towards the core of things I do think the world would be a better place if more of us meditated regularly, and that’s why I made this I hope it helped shine a light on things. If you do have questions, feel free to ask them in the comments I’m no expert on this not even close That’s okay. I’m already really happy with the depth that this has added to my life And I’m curious to see what its gonna take me. Thank you for watching There are a variety of ways to stay involved with things you can subscribe Check out my patreon page sign up to my newsletter or follow me on Instagram a plethora of options I appreciate all the support and I’ll see you soon

 

Leave a Reply