I’ve had an on and off relationship with meditation for many years. To tell the truth, it’s been much more off than on. So recently I took a step back and decided to start all over from scratch. I’ve rebooted the way I meditate and I feel better in my meditation practice then I ever have in my life! I practice each day with no expectation and I’m open to whatever my practice might bring.
I started over with the Calm meditation app which you can download on iPhone or Android. I was a little apprehensive about using an app for meditation but I decided to buy Calm and give it a try.
After trying it for a few days I liked it enough that I went ahead and bought the paid version, which was roughly $60 for a year. I will go into more detail about the Calm meditation app in a future blog post but for now just wanted to mention it as part of my new process.
I largely focus on the breath during meditation and would say largely mine is a practice of mindfulness. I try and take this practice off of my cushion and into my daily life as much as possible. I like to think of mindfulness as being fully present and aware of where I am and what I’m doing in the current moment. Because the present moment, now, is the only thing we can truly know and the only place we can truly exist.
Most of the time for me it is as simple as observing and being aware of the breath. Nothing else. Simply realizing when I am breathing in and realizing when I’m breathing out. I don’t try to manipulate it or force it in any way. I meditate with no judgement, which is something I got caught up on in the past. I was always trying to determine if it was a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ meditation session. I’ve learned that it is a successful meditation session simply because I am present and aware.
This time around I haven’t put any pressure on myself to practice for a certain amount of time, or to increase my time on the cushion just because I think I should. There is no should, no rules. I usually find myself sitting for 15 minutes in the morning.
I’m still establishing my practice and am not forcing anything on myself but I would like to get to a point of practicing my meditation first thing in the morning. Before I get on the computer and the mind gets engaged and rambunctious! But this will come in it’s own time. Eventually I would like to practice for at least 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening.
As of this writing I have been practicing daily for a little less than 2 months. More and more I find myself coming back to the moment, back to the breath at various times of the day. I like to think of these as mini meditations that I can pull out and use anytime and anywhere when I feel a little overwhelmed by troubling thoughts of the past or future.
I will continue to share my meditation in further posts as my practice progresses. I want to go into more detail on the Calm meditation app as well. Like I mentioned earlier, I was skeptical in the beginning about using an app for meditation but it has been invaluable in establishing my yoga practice this time around.
I will go a little deeper with mindfulness as well as share some simple tips and resources for those that are interested in establishing a meditation practice of their own. There is great peace in knowing we can always find calm by simply returning to and being aware of the breath.