As part of a recent Foundation Course in Teaching Mindfulness Meditation I attended, we had to commit to a minimum of 30 mins mediation practice every day over the course of three months. Although this was challenging, I managed to do it. The mediation was overall calming, but it also invoked feelings of frustration, boredom and irritation as learning to sit with your emotions and not react with ‘feeding’ the emotion is where the real challenge lies. Some days were easy for me to keep present and focused but on other days my mind was like a whirlwind and I found it very hard to stay present. I never knew which mind I would be presented with until I sat on my mat to start the meditation.
But, as the weeks went on, it became easier for me to meditate without getting distracted and the sitting position also became more comfortable as I’ve noticed my hips seem more open. The most interesting part of the meditation practice was to witness how after a while, switching off your thinking, judging and reacting unconsciously on the mat made me more aware of these behaviours in my everyday life. I noticed repetitive patterns that my mind likes to follow and had several instances where I have noticed my initial (unconscious) reaction to someone’s words, but am now able to take a step back and reply with a more measured response. I am trying to bring this into awareness into my life, and stay conscious.
What are the benefits of daily mediation?
Regular meditation can help to reduce your stress, control anxiety, improve concentration and sleep as well as control pain better, just to name a few benefits. After 76 consecutive days of practice the meditation also provided me with a massive learning opportunity. I feel more compassionate and can cope better in difficult situations and control stress better.
I can wholeheartedly recommend trying out meditation! Start with 10 mins a day and increase it slowly, maybe use an app like headspace to help you. I’d recommend beginning with gratitude meditations or simple breath meditations and then take it from there.