My introduction to Meditation

Until recently, when I heard the word meditation, I would always thing about monks humming or over-aged hippies sitting in lotus position.

But then I started reading more and more about how successful business people use meditation in their daily routine. It was more than just a coincidence, it was a recurring theme among a lot of successful people.

When I saw this video from Chris Winters I decided I had to give it a try myself.

How I got started

I started like most people do nowadays by looking for an app and I tried both Headspace and Calm. Both have a numbers of free sessions to try out the app before you need to switch to a paying subscription. There are plenty others ways to learn about meditation, you don’t need to pay for an app necessarily, but I liked to convenience of it.

I prefer Headspace over Calm and started with the 10 free sessions, trying not to skip too many days. And I noticed not much happened but I liked the relaxing part of the exercises.

After my 10 free sessions I thought, what the heck, let’s give it some more time and I took the subscription.

How it works

To understand my experience, I will briefly describe the process of the meditation exercise.

  • first you start with eyes open and taking some deep breaths
  • then you close your eyes and focus on your contact with the chair and the ground
  • next you open your mind to all the sounds in your area
  • then you scan your body and notice any feelings, pains, discomforts
  • after this routine is the start of the longest part of the exercise, the breathing
  • basically you focus on the rhythm of your breathing and try to keep the focus on the breath and not get distracted

That’s all. No humming involved.

What happened next

Because I wasn’t seeing much results from the exercises, I tried to become better at it. Trying not to fall asleep during the breathing exercise was one thing. The other thing was trying not to push myself too hard but just do it.

In the beginning, during the breathing exercise, I noticed that I was actually forcing my breathing instead of just noticing the rhythm.  I still find it hard at times but I’m slowly getting better at it.

I do like the listening exercise where you suddenly are aware of sounds from your environment, some far away, some close by.

Near the end of my 30 days foundation series I started to notice some things. Not during the exercises but during my weekly run. I run the same route most of the time, I have some variations but the starting point is always the same. I must have ran this track hundreds of times. But suddenly I started noticing the blossoms on the trees and how the sunlight reflects on the leaves of the trees and how it enhances their colors.

Also in other parts of my life I’m starting to be more aware of the moment and am getting better at focusing and finishing tasks instead of getting distracted or tired after a while.

Lessons that I have learned

One lesson I have learned is that we need to give things some time before we decide if they work or not. We are so used to getting immediate feedback nowadays that it becomes harder and harder to play the long game. But everything takes practice and practice takes time.

The second thing I’ve learned is more of a confirmation that focus is the most important thing when it comes to productivity. Focus is the key to getting things done in those 24 hours per day that every one has. If you are never focused and constantly distracted, whether it is by TV, smartphone, PlayStation or just the things of everyday life, it is hard to get anything done.

Meditation could help find back that focus.