Daily Meditation Log

Discussion in 'Education & Personal Growth' started by Viswamitra, Jul 26, 2021.

  1. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Rihana,

    I am not a regular meditator but I can suggest from what I have observed when I sit down. So the two important things for meditation that most people suggest are time and place. You have the time piece down. That's awesome. I believe place also plays a role in how it goes. Both the time and place are simply a means that prepares your body and mind for meditation. I have a friend in whose pooja room I can sit at anytime and most of the times feel very peaceful. of course there are exceptions too.

    That said, I would like add one more to place and time and that is a ritual. Many may not like the word ritual but what I mean is an act that you do before you sit down. So for example in your case, lets say brushing your teeth. Just as you start brushing, perhaps you can start bringing your mind towards meditation - observe what's happening during brushing in your mind. Perhaps that can throw some insights. Your morning meditation will depend on the happenings of the previous day, I think. Now, personally as a ritual I like to do either some yoga (if you wish, stretching for a few minutes), lighting an agarbathi, or doing some pranayama - all an effort towards some quiet time that is to follow. When we were taught meditation in yoga teacher training, one or two bhajans were played as we sat with our eyes closed before the actual silence for meditation began. Now, usually after a yoga class when I give shavasana to others is when I sit in quietness. There are days when I cannot sit at all and then days when I can't get up at all.

    So perhaps you can spend sometime thinking about how you want to start being meditative before you sit down. I also feel that 12 minutes or 10 minutes is kind of less time to actually begin to reap the benefits of quietness. Agreed it is better to do something than nothing at all but then that something should not lead to frustration. That is why drawing your mind inwards even before you sit down is important. If 12 minutes is all you have, then perhaps starting the thought process and a physical process a few minutes before can help you. Or allowing the mind to wander for two or three minutes and then sitting for 9 minutes - by that I mean, sit down at your spot keep eyes open, perhaps stare at an object and slowly close your eyes. For that reason alone I love trataka but it is best if you are first led by a teacher and then you practice. While keeping a timer can help, it can also cause some amount of restlessness. Try without one for a day or two and see how you feel and how long you could sit - by that I mean 10/15 mins. Your mind will start calming down.

    My answers in purple and italicised :) My experience says some fluidity and forgiving oneself go a long way. I hope @Gauri03 and @Viswamitra sir can answer more and better. Best wishes, my friend!
    Laks09, MadhuRK and Rihana like this.
  2. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    I agree completely with @Srama how important time and place are in meditation. One of the aspects of training our mind to obey is to adhere to the time and place which is a great starting point to make the mind listen to our command.

    Two decades ago, I got a passion for meditation and over a period of time, I increased the intensity of meditation by expanding the time into nearly an hour. I got into a territory that I can't explain in words here. Sometimes, I felt I lost several minutes into unconscious state while other times, I went into endless geometric patterns which scared me away from meditation. I thought I was doing something wrong and stopped it completely. Each person has a unique method of meditating and I can only recall the mistakes I had committed in the past. Even now, I meditate but only for select time and select place and allow my thoughts to come to the forefront and watch them.

    1) Expecting results only during meditation - I didn't realize that meditation has an impact not only during meditation but also in other activities I perform. The concentration, One-pointedness, anxiety reduction, reduction of extreme swing from pleasure to pain and vice-versa, remaining calm during tense period, and many more. In fact, meditation helps to regulate thoughts during waking and dreaming state as well.

    2) Attempting thoughtlessness right away - What I was doing by sitting quietly and keep the body erect is to train the mind to release thoughts unconditionally without any analysis and interpretation. When the mind does interpretation, it creates an impression in itself and if it is merely allowing thoughts to come up during meditation, it is not creating an impression. That is an essential good first step to disown thoughts as not belonging to the mind.

    3) Having passion for meditation - When I have passion for meditation, it is not a conducive environment for meditation as it stems from the mind itself. It is like any other thought and it misdirects me to the benefits of meditation and how the mind can benefit out of it instead of the benefits it can derive for a higher goal.

    4) Ignoring the cry of the mind - When those thoughts come into the forefront, the mind believes that they are all originated in it and there is no place where the silence is possible. It believes it has its own existence. In fact, the belief that the mind is nothing but an assembly of thoughts (a mere parking lot for thoughts) emanating out of our encryptions and it doesn't have existence of its own, helps the mind to understand that there is a place beyond it where silence is available and it can seek it.

    5) Attempting to understand the nature of the mind - The mind does its computation by analysing whatever is fed into depending on its past experiences. It's nature is what is fed into, how it is interpreted depending on its past experiences, and it doesn't have its own flavor. Trying to understand the nature of mind is a futile exercises as it doesn't have one of its own, and all I need to do is to understand why such thoughts come into existence and how it gets empowered inside the mind. In other words, instead of analyzing and interpreting thoughts, our mind needs to understand the root cause of such thoughts. Then, it becomes free to pursue silence.

    I am only highlighting most important ones here. Very common thing that can happen in meditation is, "we may look at neon signs and get distracted to take the exit instead of pursuing the highway to reach our destination".
    Last edited: May 22, 2022
    Laks09, Srama, MadhuRK and 1 other person like this.
  3. MadhuRK

    MadhuRK Finest Post Winner

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    "what do beginners do on days when the meditation is really bad?"

    Stick to it and don't allow the results to intimidate you. Consistency is the key. Keep at it. Think of our marriage as an example. It does get better with time, but in-order to see the true value of anything, you need to stick to it.

    I tell the cosmos (or whichever Guru or God or energy you are most fond of speaking to) : My job is to sit down and give you 30 minutes every morning imperfectly. It is your job to make it a perfect 30 minutes and make good of it.

    This takes away any stress/pressure/anxiety I might have about "results".

    Another way meditation unravels is, it brings to the surface everything we have been hiding/pushing in for many decades if not births now. If I have been traveling westwards for 8000 miles, I'm just now turning direction and going eastwards (or in the case of meditation, inwards). I have a long journey ahead to finally reach east and see the sun-rise.

    Our mind has been trained from early infancy to go to school, college, job, husband, kids, work, boss and what not. Finally we are taking baby-steps to actually examine the subject instead of the object.

    Please be kind and patient and appreciative of your inner-self that is calling you from within. Kudos and keep at it.

    Its a very enjoyable self-discovery, I can assure you of that. The number of useless things you will start ignoring is a reward unto itself.
    Laks09, Srama, Rihana and 1 other person like this.
  4. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @Srama, @Viswamitra, @MadhuRK, thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart. It felt so good to read your responses and the tips and insights in them. I was reminded of my board exam times. My mother and older sibling used to suggest the little things to do or take along. "Hall ticket?", "Compass box?" "Calci?" (calculator) and the "go slowly, don't rush (on cycle)."

    I had a practice routine that was, I daresay, fairly stable and established. Under 15 mins each day but once or twice entered into a trance or some similar state. Then, it all dissolved in one fell swoop. Meditation being a way of life helped cushion the fall but I used up all its accrued points, so to say. : ) A few months forward now, I am ready to restart. In the enthusiasm of a re-beginner, I wanted the shortest path to get back to the level where I was. I want all those X marks in my bullet journal under M for mindfulness. : ) It doesn't work like that! Like you have said in your response, showing up everyday, one day at a time, being your own guide and pace-setter are needed.

    Thanks again. Reading your suggestions reminded me of the little things that helped me earlier. One was mentally tracing/drawing the arches of the McDonald's M in mind. 100 days from today is September 1st. I am wishing myself the best. : ) Trying out Medito instead of Calm this time.
    Srama likes this.

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