You heard of mediation. For sure. It is quite a hype wave now.
I meditated for 500 days in a row. I didn’t skip any single day. A huge milestone for me.
It required extraordinary motivation and discipline. And I want to share my experience, and hopefully, it’ll help someone on the way to enlightenment =)
Why I started
We live in an era when everyone feels overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with the useless information, social media, false values that society imposes us.
I felt like some parts of my life are a simulation. Like someone controls me from outside, tell me what to do, and I even do not realize that. Constant stress and running without a clear understanding of where am I heading.
I waked up, and the first thing I did – check social media. Then I worked a lot to fulfill my desire to be successful. Instead of enjoying a meal in short breaks of tense working hours, I watched youtube. In the gym or while walking, I listened to podcasts.
24/7 information consumption (not only learning but entertainment as well). I got tired of this. My mental health got tired.
So I started to look for a solution.
One of the things that worked for me and helped me to become more mindful was meditation.
So what is meditation anyway?
Naval Ravikant described it very well in the recent interview to Joe Rogan:
Mediation is the art of doing nothing. All you need to do for meditation is to sit down, close your eyes, comfortable position. Whatever happens, happens. If you think, you think, if you don't think, you don't think. Don't put effort into it, don't put effort against it.
How I started
There are plenty of different types of meditation.
Meditation in silence, guided meditation, transcendental meditation, mantra mantra, movement meditation, music meditation so on.
I started from guided meditation. IMHO it is the only correct way to start. Another way is to take a coach.
Are you curious how does it look like? Well.. you sit, play audio with a calm, gentle voice that guides you through the whole process. You just follow instructions.
Usually, you concentrate on your breath, body, or feelings. It depends on what type of meditation you choose.
Sound easy, hah?
Actually, it is hard at the beginning. Really hard. I couldn’t concentrate for longer than 15 seconds in the row.
Your brain just continuously pulls a tremendous amount of thoughts, which leads to other thoughts, and it goes deeper and deeper. After one minute, you “wake up” thinking about some stupid stuff like thinking of what a cashier said you two years ago in the supermarket.
Try it right now on your own.
No, seriously! Close eyes and try to clear your mind for 1 minute. Just realize breathing and concentrate on it. Nothing else. Try to not think about anything.
Hard hah? If you do it for the first time, most likely, you won’t be able to keep your mind clear and restless more than for 40-60 seconds. Unless you are enlightened or just fall in sleep =)
And it is a way how we live day after day. Constantly processing tons of thoughts, replay past situations, worrying. And we do not realize the present moment of our life.
But the good news is that in the course of time you get better on this. You learn how to rest your mind and get rid of the stuff I described above.
What I got
Hard to say. So many things happened for the last 500 days.
But I believe that meditation helped me with the following things:
- I became calmer, happier, and less anxious. I worry less, and it became harder to upset my balance of mind.
- My concentration improved. If you can sit for 10 min looking at the breathing, then productive work for a few hours won’t be a problem.
- This daily routine boosts my mood and allows me to recover after a busy day.
- I became more mindful. I realize the present moment much clearly. I notice things (in my body and mind) which I couldn’t see before.
What are my recommendations
- Start with guided meditation (I use the Headspace app), which will walk you through the whole process at the beginning.
- You must do it truly genuinely. If you do it just “for the record” or “because that cool guy from Instagram does it”, then it doesn’t make any sense. Don’t waste your time. Give a chance this experience to enter into your life.
- Do not give up. Just keep doing it for 1-2 weeks at least 10 min a day even if you feel like it is worthless. You won’t be able to dive into it in a short time. You’ll start to feel the power of mindfulness step by step.