Wednesday, February 06, 2008

30 day Meditation experiment day 9


During weekdays, especially when I have classes in the morning like today, its difficult to plan for meditation in the morning. For me mornings are like, I wake up half hour before I catch my bus and have just enough time to shower and brush.
I have 1hr pockets of free time spread out during the day.So today I was flexible about where I meditate. I headed out to the library, found a nice secluded spot and meditated while sitting on the chair.

Duration: I timed my stop watch for 30 minutes, but I felt intensely sleepy after 15 minutes. So I had to cut short my meditation at that point.

Sleep: I managed 5.5 hrs of continuous sleep yesterday with a total duration of 8 hrs (I woke up and slept again).

Miscellaneous:I should mention that I am using a very powerful relaxation technique before I go to sleep every night. It's based on a yoga-asana called "shavasana" or corpse posture.
As can be inferred from the name, in this technique the body becomes completely limp like a corpse and you feel very relaxed since most of the muscles are relaxed.
Note that in shavasana, you can be much more relaxed than when you sleep because in sleep the body changes position quite often leaving pockets of tension in the body at any given time, while in shavasana, you consciously ensure that you have relaxed every or almost every part of your body. Also, there is a total lack of noticeable movement in the body (except for maybe the blinking of the eye) while you are into shavasana.

You can know more about this relaxation technique here. Trust me, it's easy to do and gives you a deep sense of relaxation. Ideally done half-hour before you go to sleep or when you need to take a stress-release break.

30 day Meditation experiment day 8


Duration: 5 minutes. Basically I was tired at the end of the day and hence fell really sleepy after 5 minutes into the meditation. So I had to shift from a lotus position to lying down on the floor till I was refreshed again.
It seems like the best time to have an enjoyable meditation session is right after I wake up or sometime in the morning.

Monday, February 04, 2008

30 day Meditation experiment day 7


Today's session was like a long run. Long run in distance running is a training run where you run longer than usual but take it easy on the pace. (Ofcourse there's no real equivalent to pace in meditation. A close equivalent would be slowing down of the sense of time and being in the now. ;))

Duration: I set my stopwatch for 29 minutes. But after it beeped, I felt like going for another 15 minutes. Only problem was that my right leg was becoming numb in the half-lotus position I was sitting in.
I continued for another 8 minutes before I thought I was done for today.

The first 15 minutes or so, I was trying to come to terms with a few things and hence I wasn't exactly slowing down my mind. But in the latter half, my mind settled down and it was kind of peaceful till the end.

I really am looking forward to my meditation sessions these days. Partly because I find that my meditation sessions are getting better in quality and also because I have come so far (7 days) without a break. If there is one thing I have had a problem with in life, it's consistency. Consistency in work or hobbies (running), etc. But 7 days equals a week and that's good unless it's not(this idiom is borrowed from one of the many books by Neale Donald Walsch titled "Conversations with God" - A really interesting, intellectual and practical book series, but this would be for another blog post).

Meanwhile, I came across a nice blog that guides you in a very intuitive, straightforward and pedagogical way onto what meditation means, its significance and its practice and benefits.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

30 day Meditation experiment day 6


Summary: I didn't have a great meditative experience today.

Duration: I did meditation for 22 minutes after bath following suit on yesterday's meditation.

The first 10 minutes felt decent, I mean there were a few thoughts doing the rounds in my mind but it was as peaceful as yesterday. My upper body started rocking back and forth like yesterday but it wasn't as intense and frequent as yesterday. The last 10 minutes of the meditation, my thoughts were going places. So I decided to cut short the meditation at around 22 minutes though I had timed my stopwatch for 25 minutes.
Everyday brings a different meditative experience like life.

I did the meditation in the morning. In the evening, I went out for a 1 mile run that lasted 8.5 minutes. I have to see how these two practices (running and meditation) can be kept up simultaneously and regulary. Regular is a key word here, since any practice would be most beneficial when done in regular intervals.

I had bread and jam for breakfast, fruits and cookies for lunch!, and some mixed vegetable rice (spicy(note - spicy doesn't necessarily mean hot, some of you Americans have got it all wrong) and tasty food) for dinner. I would probably have some cereals for supper. I guess I have to improve on my diet, especially the breakfast.

Sleep: Yesterday I managed 3 hrs of continuous sleep and then I woke up every 1.5 hrs till I got up after 8 hrs of sleep. Sleeping has been a problem for me since the last 2 months and that's one thing that should change with this experiment.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

30 day Meditation experiment day 5


Interesting experience: If yesterday and day-before-yesterday, I experienced waves of sleep hitting me, today it was waves of upper body movement during meditation!!!

Deatiled report: I began meditating right after having a bath in the morning, i.e. between 1:05 pm and 1:27pm. Today was a much better experience in terms of mental peace than the last 4 days. That is not to say that I would expect it to be the same or better for the rest of this trial. I have stated this before, I state it again: "It is important not to have any expectations on your meditation. Receive humbly whatever you get.". I didn't feel any kind of sleepiness during the meditation today. Infact, I felt very relaxed, alive and peaceful and it felt good that I smiled as I meditated.
Posture: I was in the lotus posture with my hands in "Chin Mudra (index finger touching the tip of the thumb and other fingers straight)".

During the last few minutes of the meditation, my upper body and head started rocking gently back and forth. The rocking motion was involuntary and I wasn't contributing anything to it. The rocking motion subsided for a minute but increased in frequency during the last few minutes. Infact, it was reaching its peak as my stop-watch started beeping (I set the alarm for 23 minutes after I began meditating).
Even after I opened my eyes, my upper body was still rocking back and forth a bit.
I banished all fear of this strange experience and would have continued with the meditation if not for the stop watch!
Other points: I began the meditation with a prayer and terminated it with a prayer. The prayer is to the universal spirit for a smooth meditation experience and for the peace of the world.

Friday, February 01, 2008

30 day Meditation experiment day 4


Today I came across a few excellent articles on meditation. It's a great pleasure to know that there are articles that address the difficulties I am facing during meditation - feeling sleepy halfway, mind not calming down, etc.
Anyway, here are the articles: Meditation FAQ,
Meditation II

Today's Time: 6:20 pm - 6:40 pm

I felt sleepy after 10 minutes. Waves of sleep hit me as I meditated. Imagine, waves at a beach hitting your legs as you stand in the sand. It disturbs your stability right, it literally rocks your frame. That's what happens when the waves of sleep hit me. I just rock back and forth in the action of resisting sleep. During the 20 minutes on the whole, the mental activity slowed down a bit, but not too much. It's important not to have expectations during meditation because
expectations ----> Thoughts related to the expectation --------> Increased mental activity.

After meditation, I did some Pranayama (Anuloma/viloma - Breathing in and out) and then got up. This seems similar to warming down/cooling down after running (I am a runner remember, so running analogies r there).

After I got up from my half-lotus posture to sit on my desk, I suddenly noticed that my back was straighter than before and it felt good. So here's an immediate benefit:
Meditation sets your posture right while sitting in a chair.

I am signing off here today and looking forward to tomorrow's meditation.

30 day Meditation experiment day 3


Today I meditated from 8:00 to 8:10 pm. I had to catch a bus to go the department in 10 minutes so I cut the meditation short. I wasn't having the waves of sleepiness I had yesterday, but I felt rested during the last 5 minutes. It's too early to decide the effects of meditation at this stage.
I am a beginner in meditation but I have had tried unsuccessfully to establish a meditation routine before.
This is the main reason why I am blogging my meditation experience: So that I keep up my practice under the public eye :D

Let's see how tomorrow goes. Btw, I am also a runner, I haven't run in a week, so I have to see if I can run this weekend. I don't think running will take time away from meditation as I can always meditate before I wish to sleep and generally that will make me sleepier and hence I can easily fall asleep.