How’s That Daily Meditation Practice Going?
Oh nuts, mine too.
I was on a roll there for a while. For starters, I was going to yoga a lot, and all my favorite teachers build it into the practice. Since I really enjoy meditating with other people, this was a nice motivator. Also, I found a “quiet room” at my job—a dimly lit alcove the size of a small walk-in closet that I imagine was created for nursing moms maybe, but which a few of us use regularly for midday downtime. I got into the habit of sneaking in there without my phone or any other distractions for about 20 minutes every day. That felt great! But then I sprained my ankle while bobbing and weaving in traffic to get a cab, and then I was away from work for a bit, and the routines I’d built into my day sort of went out the window.
It happens, but since it takes a toll on how good I feel, I’d like to get back on track—and I’d encourage you guys to join me.
Because if there’s one thing I have learned over the years about a meditation practice it’s that it’s always there to go back to. No sense kicking yourself when you quit. Just start where you are.* Wake up tomorrow and do it, and then wake up the next day and do it again.
Last week, I was in that place pictured up top—Big Sur. At a place like Esalen, the hippie enclave we stayed at for a few days, it’s frankly very easy to sit for 20 minutes or longer, daily. There’s a meditation hut with windows that actually open overlooking the ocean, for one, and for two, there’s no cell reception there. (That second thing is key.) Third, it’s among the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, and beauty, especially the kind you find in nature, has that magical ability to just help you drop your shoulders and quiet the chatter in your head. Less easy is meditating after a stressful day at work in a city where strangers bark at each other and there’s bumper-to-bumper traffic even at, like, 2pm on a Tuesday.
But that’s sort of the point. Meditating every day is not easy, per se, but as with any good habit, the more you do it, the easier it gets—especially if you’re getting a “reward,” as Alexandra explained the other week. With meditation, the reward is subtle. As we said in our 11 Easy Ways to Meditate piece, you probably won’t see blue flashing lights or meet God for the first time in your sitting practice. But the sweet, incremental changes that come with looking inside and sitting still are really something else. Aren’t they?
So I’m going to get back in the habit.
Who’s in? And if you are still on track? Well, shoot. God bless. Now please share some motivating words with the rest of the class—especially those of you who took our meditation challenge a while back and then stuck with it. (Did anyone?! Don’t fib.)
* Also, read this book. It’s so good.