I’m now into the second week of the book’s mediatation course.
SO far I like it. 8 mins is really no time at all so I don’t feel like it’s taking too much time out of my day. It’s kinda amazing how long 8 mins can feel though, especially the first few times I was trying to meditate. Or as the book (and yoda) would say, ” there is no try, you do or do not meditate”. Which is another way of saying stop judging yourself immediately and just start the process.
Here’s how a typical meditation session goes.
Deep breath, deep breath, focus on breathing, focus on breathing
deep breath, (hear an airplane), envision an airplane, remember my last flight, think about how much luggage fees annoy me, feel annoyed
oh no I forgot about my breath, oh good it’s still there, deep breath, deep breath, focus on breathing, focus on breathing
repeat, repeat, repeat until 8 mins are up.
As I understand it so far, the practice of mediation is learning to just allow these thoughts to happen and try to catch yourself falling down the rabbit hole of thoughts as soon as possible. In essence, you are not trying to stop having thought parades, you are trying to recognize that a parade it happening and let it pass rather than get caught up and join in the parade.
So far the book keeps coming back to these two principles to keep in mind while meditating:
“Allow … allow … allow. Allow whatever comes up. And exclude nothing. Emotions, thoughts, images – they’re all treated equally. The more you completely accept them, the more present you are and the more fluid your meditation.”
“Catch and release. When you realize that you’ve hooked onto a thought gently unhook and release it. Over time, you’ll become much more skillful at noticing when you’ve “hooked” something. After a while, releasing will become easier and more automatic.”
As a complete novice this book is perfect for me, it feels a little like the cliff notes to Shakespeare. Cliff notes can be a great place to start when Shakespeare seems intimidating, but you know you are missing out on something. However, my interest is piqued and I have actively started meditating!