3,008 minutes, 50 hours, and 223 meditation sessions, on average, approximately 9.3 sessions per month, 2.32 sessions per week, between 11 to 14 minutes roughly every session. This is the time I have dedicated to meditation since March 2021, exactly two years ago. I was going through a time of a lot of work, pressure, and worries. I had a hard time disconnecting, relaxing, and sleeping well. Then I decided to take action and start meditating.
Very little time relative to any other activity in my day-to-day life, but the impact has been extraordinarily positive. If we were to measure our lives in weeks, I would have dedicated one work week to meditation, but the benefits gained will last forever.
I was very curious on a trip to Bali, there I observed older people who practiced Balinese Hinduism practically at any time of day, entered the temples, made an offering of flowers, and spent hours meditating; it caught my attention, and made me reflect on how they approach religion or spirituality, and how we come it in the West, for them meditation is a potent tool. It has aroused my interest in learning more about Buddhist philosophy.
You can find in the application marketplaces several options and applications; in my case, I chose Headspace; I liked how they had raised the mobile app, with a lot of simplicity, nice colors, and content separated into thematic and specific modules, well organized.
The first day I did not even know where to start, but then I made a plan; the first goal was to reach a “black belt” in meditation within a reasonable period of six months. Then I started with this syllabus; take it as a recommendation; everyone can configure it as I wish:
- Basic Level 1 (white belt)
- Basic Level 2
- Intermediate Level 1 (green belt)
- Intermediate Level 2
- Expert Level 1
- Expert Level 2 (black belt)
From the first day at the primary level, you already noticed a pleasant change in my mind, and I was surprised at how easy it was to follow the instructions and how good I felt afterward. When you finish expert level 2, you have developed an almost autonomous meditation technique without the help of the guide; you are practically self-sufficient if you structure it this way, in a way you are creating a solid mind training base to focus on the second objective, which is to work with more depth on specialized topics or specific modules, such as stress, anxiety, concentration, prioritization, memory, compassion, kindness, creativity, acceptance, empathy, happiness, etc.
10 lessons learned.
1/ It is a truism, and we all know it, but you do not fully understand it until you practice meditation; the physical body and the mind (consciousness) are two different and independent entities; what meditation helps you is to separate the material part from the mental, it is about being aware of your consciousness, without acting the most physical part of your body, it is a matter of energy, of total consciousness.
2/ The mind can be configured as you want, just as you train a muscle for a particular physical activity; meditation can be said to be the sport or training that facilitates the calm and peace needed in your mind to achieve well-being, happiness, and freedom.
3/ Meditation is not a tool to remove or eliminate the primary diseases of our times, such as anxiety, stress, or any other complex emotional process of this type; meditation teaches you to relate in a new way with these feelings when they appear.
The moral is not to fight or fight against these diseases, creating more resistance, but on the contrary, drastically reduce the tension they generate when they appear, change the way you relate to these sensations when you get them, indirectly reduce their impact, and ultimately the number of times of discomfort, or at least its intensity.
4/ Being present at all times drastically reduces the number of thoughts per day, prevents your mind from being in the past or the future, or working more than it should. Being present can be extreme; it is not about being thirty minutes ahead thinking that you have a meeting, nor twenty years ago; it means living with intensity and awareness of the zero moments.
According to scientific studies, it is estimated that we have about 60,000 thoughts a day, and most of them are repetitive, harmful, or from the past. Then reflect on the importance of reducing this number; this point is essential.
During the sessions, the guide asked me to choose two activities in which I was committed to being present during the whole time; I chose work and cooking (I don’t cook much either, but wow, did I improve my concentration a lot).
Suppose your mind is very restless, and you find bringing it to the total and absolute present challenging. In that case, I recommend you to be aware of crucial physical moments throughout the day, for example, when you get up or sit in a chair, or when you lie down on a bed, or when you start walking down the street, pay attention to changes in your body when you start a physical movement in this way you will bring the mind to its optimal point, the ideal one, neither ahead, nor behind.
5/ As in the construction of any habit, it is convenient to be constant, I have meditated up to 14 days in a row, and other times I have had breaks of three weeks or a month. Without a doubt, I felt perfect when I did the two consecutive weeks, and to regulate the whole month that I stopped meditating; like any other activity in which you need to create a habit, it takes consistency to start getting results.
6/ Calmer and less stressed: I have learned to manage my negative emotions, such as fear, anger, or frustration better. I can now recognize them without judging them or reacting impulsively to them. I have also developed a more positive attitude toward problems and challenges.
7/ More concentration and productivity: I have improved my ability to focus on my work without being distracted by irrelevant or ruminating thoughts. This has helped me to be more efficient and creative in my career.
8/ More self-knowledge and self-esteem: I have discovered aspects of myself that I previously ignored or rejected. I have accepted my strengths and weaknesses without comparing myself to others or criticizing myself.
9/ More connection and understanding: I have cultivated a greater sensitivity to the needs and interests of others. I have learned to listen actively, express my opinions respectfully, and resolve conflicts assertively.
10/ More joy and illusion: I have recovered the taste for the simple things in life, such as walking on the beach, enjoying art, or sharing moments with my loved ones and friends; if you are not happy with the basics, it will be challenging to be pleased with the most complex needs, you can spend 1 million euros on a car, a house, a boat, or a bag if you are not happy when you go down to buy bread, there will not be a brand of car that will compensate you.
To the habit of meditation, I would add several adjacent topics that will help you, such as reducing the use of mobile and social networks to a minimum, of course, leaving it on silent, without notifications or interruptions, throughout the day.
Try to work with no more than two tabs open in your browser unless strictly necessary, this topic is fundamental, but we all miss it; the concept is to work on a specific and unique task in a minimum period of two hours, with some breaks, this concept is called Deep Work, and a friend recommended it to me.
Throughout the day, I have to develop different tasks of all kinds. Still, I try to organize them in blocks of two hours, adding all the microtasks in a league of two hours at the beginning of the day, and leaving the remaining three blocks for microtasks, multitasking yes, but orderly and in partnerships, without simultaneity or overlapping.
Combine other applications such as Endel, which creates more than music, and soundscapes based on neuroscience studies, using generative AI to build sounds that adapt to you at every moment of the day and stimulate your brain to achieve high degrees of concentration and focus.
I hope you liked the article, and I invite you all to try meditation’s benefits.
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