My First Meditation Experience, and Why I’ll Continue

In the top ten things I see over and over on lists ofMeditation. Relaxing business woman on the beach what I need to do to be healthy, meditation is almost always somewhere on the list. Sometimes its number one, sometimes later, but when I look for ways to start my day or calm myself and focus, its always there.
It’s simple right? Just sit quietly and stop thinking. I’ve even tried it before. I just never “got it”. Okay, check the box, I did it. But I don’t feel any different. Certainly not something transcendental. (I’ll never get that five minutes back). Truthfully, it was hard to stick with because I couldn’t see the value.

Often, I suppose to be politically correct, the people who write those lists lump everything together into Meditation/Prayer/Quiet time. I come from a western Judeo-Christian background so I’m comfortable with prayer but that’s a very different thing from meditation. At least for me, prayer is a conversation and there are a lot of lists to remember. I like prayer and I continue to do that but the quiet in prayer is like the pause in a conversation. I’m waiting for the next comment.

This morning I found what I’d been looking for. I became aware of how difficult it is to sit quietly and not go over the hundreds of lists that bang around in my head all the time. What am I going to write this morning? Should I go for a run? How about a long walk? Should I take my car in for service? Which day is best? What’s for breakfast? Should I fast this morning? What do I need from the grocery store?

Excuse me, I’m just trying to focus on my breathing here.

Then it began to dawn on me. If I am having this much of a hard time trying to be quiet, what chance do I have to be focused on anything else I want to work on today? So I redoubled my “effort” to be quiet and just breathe. I deflected each thought that came into my head and sharpened my focus on my present moment. The volume and number of questions and thoughts decreased but continued to try to get my attention. I shifted my posture and refocused.
There! A moment of stillness! (Don’t think about stillness). There! Another brief few seconds of quiet pass by.

So I’m marking this morning as my first real meditation experience. I can feel the challenge of being truly quiet and I have an idea of the reward. If I can start my day with zero going on in my head I’m starting with a clean slate. Now whatever I add to the slate should be simpler. That would be a new way to start. In fact, that might be the reason others do this stuff. I’m going to continue and see how it affects my day and my ability to concentrate on a single task.

How about you? Have you found something of value in a daily meditation? Does it improve your day? I’d love to hear your experience.

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  • Stu Johnson

    I have had good results with meditation. I have embraced the idea that it is rest time for my internal dialogue. Sitting at the end of the old bridge is my favorite place.