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.

9 Responses to “How’s That Daily Meditation Practice Going?”
  1. christina says:

    Getting back into the habit as well.
    & teaching my 11-year-old daughters as one struggles with very high anxiety.
    I’d like to meditate right after I wake up, but I usually start making breakfast and getting the girls ready for school & myself to the gym…sounds like I should wake up 15 mins earlier. :)

  2. zimt-peppermint says:

    I am not still in, but I’m in again. :) I have done 5 minutes of mediation since last tuesday. 5 min is doable, it’s not as scary as 20. Maybe it’s gonna be 20 one day, but if it’s not that’s fine too.

  3. Kiki says:

    I completely agree from my own experience that daily meditation yields great results. I see it as being like a battery charger—and I’m the battery! I feel so much brighter, clearer and alert after I meditate. My aim is to meditate/pray twice a day; every morning before my feet hit the ground and right before I fall asleep at night. It’s never the same process (but that’s why I love it!); sometimes I’m just ‘listening’ or focusing on being present with everything, and other times I’m having more of a dialogue with myself and God by affirming what I know to be true and good in my life and in the world. The underlying goal every time is feeling a sense of stillness, awareness, and gratitude.

    On days when it seems really hard to meditate; when I’m fighting apathy, disinterest, restlessness, etc., I find that those are actually the days when I need to meditate the most! Recognising this resistance to meditating requires internal alertness and awareness—but that’s why I meditate in the first place! I’ve personally seen that the more I meditate—the more I pray, listen, affirm, and simply cherish the act of meditation itself—the faster I’m able to silence that voice of resistance that tries to keeps me from doing otherwise.

    Stick with it Siobhan! You can do it!!

  4. poobear says:

    I meditate between clients daily. It helps. I feel so ungrounded when I don’t. Sitting for a good half hour or hour may be ideal, but meditating in bits and pieces is better than nothing:)

  5. therese says:

    Timely article. I was just starting up this week (again). I just finished reading Erich Schiffmann’s book. He has such great ways to meditate. It is hard to get started but I think in time I will be in the groove. I think summer is so much easier too. Love the Big Sur photo. I need a road trip!

  6. Sam says:

    Ever since I joined the challenge I am so into Meditation. Thanks to NMDL I learned about Meditation and really it has helped me a lot. I focus better during my lectures (before I use to sleep) and am able to complete my household works too. I meditate every morning and almost anytime during the day, when I have nothing to do.

  7. Meditation says:

    Meditation helps to improve your quality of life and treat various psychological issues related to anger and stress management. Listen to Podcast of Dr. Robert Puff, Licensed Clinical Psychologist to improve these issues.

  8. Lulu says:

    As I was solo traveling in Mexico, I came across a traveling nomad and discovered the power of meditation. Very powerful stuff.

  9. Alden says:

    @Kiki – I agree that the days we need it the most are the days where it’s the hardest to do! But I would like to get into the habit of meditating every day. Not just when I’m at the beach and feeling relaxed. :)

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