Day 3 of the new year and decided to sleep in until 6:40am after a late night watching “The Greatest Showman”. Great movie by the way for those who like musicals or even those who don’t. Character development not huge and indept, plot fairly predictable, but the singing and song lyrics were great.
Only running on less than 6.5 hours of sleep so we’ll see how well it goes today.
So today i’ll be sharing my thoughts on meditation. This is one really major thing that a lot of “productivity” podcasts and self development people talk a lot about. There are some people attribute meditation to completely changing the way they look at life, being more “mindful” and “present”.
From what I have experienced, meditation has a lot of ties to Buddist philosophy and teachings, though you don’t need to be a Buddist to gain the benefits.
For those who haven’t done meditation before the core fundamental is breathing and focusing on it. It isn’t “clearing your mind” it is more “focusing your mind”.
In the busy life style we live in with distractions a plenty, stopping and focusing on a single and simple thing like your breath is actually a very hard thing to do for any extended period of time.
I like to do “guided meditation” using the “Calm” app. There are other apps like “Headspace” but I find that app too expensive as it has a large subscription fee, while Calm is more reasonable in their fees.
I have been using the Calm app since May 2016 sporatically (1 to 4 sessions a month) until about November 2016 and December 2016 where I made a conscience effort and used it fairly regularly, then slack again for January and February 2017.
In March 2017, I think they introduced the “Daily Calm” where they produced a new meditation session each day. This was good because I had already gone through all of their “stock” meditations. This also gave me motivation to focus on doing the daily meditation each day, as I knew I wouldn’t be able to hear it again after that day.
Since then I have managed around 20 daily sessions a month or so on average.
When I was getting up early before, I would do the 10 minutes of guided meditation in the morning. Then when I stopped the early wake ups, it was before I went to sleep. Before sleep I found rather useful as it “quieten” the mind if I happened to have a “busy” mind, and got to focus on one thing.
I also have their default background sounds playing which provided nice “white noise”, again focusing the mind on something and founds I could sleep better with it on some nights where I found it hard to get to sleep.
Another reason why I liked this particular app is that they have a “theme” for each “Daily Calm”. So you have different “words of wisdom” for the day similar to the things you see on Facebook posts. Encouragement, mindfulness, handling worry, handling loss, new beginnings, gratitude, etc etc.
I can’t say it has been a “life changer” and there isn’t immediate a hugely noticable effects. Small changes over time maybe? I do “catch myself” more often to be more “mindful” and “present”/”in the moment” though. Increased appreciation on life and what you have. Maybe even “calmer” than my reasonably calm personality.
I’ll continue to meditate based on recommendations that it has greatly benefited others, and I’m sure there has been more benefits for me than I realise. In any case, it will help me to “stop” for 10 mins a day and break the “on the go” nature which is a full time worker, parent and husband.
I came across this video on a youtube channel I recently subscribed to. It explains the science behind the benefits of meditation and mentions references to Tim Ferris (author of the “4 hour work week”), Dan Harris (author of “10% happier”), and Sam Harris (author of “Waking up”). It talks about “Flow”, the “default mode network”, the “Monkey mind” and “Mindfulness”.
“In ancient times, having power meant having access to data. Today, having power is means knowing what to ignore.”