30 Days of Meditation: days 29 & 30

I sat last night, but there was no purpose other than it was day 29. It was late, I was very tired, I had a horrible headache from caffeine withdrawal, and I’ve got a lot on my mind at the moment.

Today wasn’t much better. I was less tired, I had a worse headache, and the stuff is still in my head.

But none of that matters. I’ve done 30 days of meditation, 30 minutes per day. My challenge is complete. Have I learnt anything? Not yet; not really anyway. Get a decent cushion and don’t squeeze in your practice. That’s about it.

30 days in nothing. Just a drop in the ocean. Day 30 is the beginning of my practice, not the end. Tomorrow I start the 1 week meditation course, and then after that who knows.

What I do know is that I found it beneficial, I found it rewarding, and I intend to continue. Some days will be easy, some will be hard, sometimes I’ll forget. As long as I maintain the intention then that’s ok, I’ll get there in the end.

What the hell; it’s something to do, innit. 😉

30 Days of Meditation: day 28

I should have done some yoga before sitting today.

I haven’t done any exercise for a few days as my shoulder has been hurting like hell – it gets so bad sometimes I can’t even raise my arm above my head – and I didn’t want to aggravate it, but the upshot of that is everything has tightened up.

And not just the shoulders but my back, legs, across the chest, all of it is aching and complaining in some way. But what caused my problems today were my glutes (ie: the base of my bum and down the back of my thighs). They were not happy as I sat down, and they made sitting upright very difficult indeed.

The more you can level your pelvis the more happy you will be sitting. At least that is how it appears to me. If your pelvis is tipped back (as mind often is) you end up with a hunched back using your back muscles to hold you up, rather than stacking the bones of your spine like a column of pennies (as instructed). You’re holding yourself up instead of balancing.

So I sat, but my mind was more on my posture than my breath, so I didn’t do much meditating today. But I did manage to do some yoga after for the first time in ages, which is great news as it means I should be ok for the course on Friday. I would have been really bummed out if I was unable to practice during that. What a wasted opportunity that would (have) be(en).

30 Days of Meditation: day 27

Y’know what’s an unexpected problem when you’re meditating; your eyes.

I mean you’d think it was simple enough. They’re closed, end of discussion. But I find that, since I’m concentrating on the sensation of breath on the rim of my nostril, that my eyes tend to look down at my nose, and even to a certain degree start to cross.

It’s surprisingly hard to relax your eyes and just ‘look one mile’ when they’re closed and there’s nothing to (not) look at.

Still, that’s what I’m working on now. but that’s good, because it means I’ve moved on a little from thinking about my posture all the time.By sitting upright more and reducing the body signals by not moving I’m becoming more aware of other areas where I need work.

But that’s how we improve, bit by bit. I’m a lot closer to what I’m trying to do. I still follow the breath past the nose and down into the lungs, but I’m working on staying in one place. I’m getting there, it’s just gonna take a while. 🙂

30 Days of Meditation: day 26

Didn’t do too badly this evening. Didn’t sit ’til 1:15am, but since I didn’t get up ’til 4:50pm that’s probably no surprise.

I managed to not fidget as much as I have before. It’s all too easy to keep adjusting your posture, trying to find the perfect balance, but that takes you away from the object of your attention. It’s much better just to find a good posture and stay there.

And I managed to concentrate on my breathing more often than not (or so it seemed to me). My mind would wander, but not as much or as far as usual. Maybe I’m getting better at this.

30 Days of Meditation: day 25

Today’s session was just a waste of time.

I was in between two night shifts, and after sleeping all day I had to go out to do some shopping, so I didn’t have time before I went to work. But that’s ok, I thought, I’ll just do some when I get to work. Not a problem.

But then I got to work and we were so busy with stuff I completely forgot, and I didn’t remember ’til about 2am as I was lying down for a well deserved snooze (I nap on my break as a 12 hour night shift is, unsurprisingly, quite tiring). Well there was no way I was going to do it then, so I decided to do it when I got home.

But that turned out to be pointless. I did sit, at 7:30am, for half an hour, and for the majority of the time I was slumped over, half asleep, just waiting for the alarm to go so that I could go to bed.

It was a waste of time, as it achieved nothing. I’d have been better off just going to bed and doing an hour the next day (something I considered). In fact it’s only coz of this 30 day challenge that I didn’t. There was no way I was going to fail on day 25 of 30.

But it shows in a way what a hindrance doing this challenge can be sometimes. There’s no point doing it for it’s own sake, what does that get me except some kind of ego boost. And a lot of the time when I’m sitting and something happens I think ‘Must remember that so I can blog about it later’, which is just another distraction on top of everything else I’ve got going on.

But still I’m glad I’m doing it, as it has helped me realise that I can find half an hour a day to sit, and there are benefits to be had. I think once this challenge is over, and I’m just doing it to do it, that’s when I’ll see the real results.

30 Days of Meditation: day 23

Had an unpleasant surprise as I sat today. A sudden pain in my right side where your heart would be if your heart was on the right. I tried to ignore it as best I could be gave up in the end and tried some deep breathing until it went away.

Thankfully, went away it did. No idea what caused it though. As long as it doesn’t repeat I’m not going to worry about it too much.

Had numb legs to contend with again today. I thought that was kind of done with for now. They seemed to be getting better. But today it got so bad I had to move, just as my alarm went off.

So I guess I still need a better cushion to sit on, or some expert guidance on improving my posture. Fingers crossed the meditation course will get me half way there (ie: guidance). As for the cushion I’m going to make one myself when I go home for Christmas. I reckon I can do one for much less than £40, and to my own specifications as well. You’ll see the results on here if and when I do it.

30 Days of Meditation: day 22

It doesn’t matter what you do to get rid of unnecessary distractions, more always seem to come up.

You can turn off the fridge, not turn on the washing machine, close all the doors to provide some sound proofing, but just when you’re getting into it that’s when your upstairs neighbour decides to run a bath. Waddaya gonna do?

Anyway, I got my session done and out of the way early today, so no faffing about at 1am this time. My legs are getting a little better for now, though Lord knows why. They’re still numb and tingling when I finish, just not as numb and tingling as they were before. Maybe they’re getting used to sitting.

Just eight more days to go and then I’m on my course. It feels like time has flown, and yet at the same time I’ve been very aware of the passing of the days. That seems to be what I’m getting from this meditation at the moment, a heightened awareness. I feel like I’m engaging more with the world, instead of wandering round in a daze which I often used to do. More manual flight and less autopilot, if you know what I mean. I like it.

30 Days of Meditation: day 21

Unfortunately I failed to follow my own advice and meditate first thing today. The builders were back (again!) and so I couldn’t.

I was going to do it after they went but by that time I was so into doing laundry and cleaning that I didn’t remember until about 1am.

So once again I had quite a snoozy session, as all I wanted to do was go to bed. I know these are not practices I should be enforcing, but it was that or not meditate at all, and since I don’t want to break my 30 day run what could I do.

But I’m up early this morning with no distractions and no excuses, so I’m going to sit now. Then at least it’s done and I can get down to more washing and tidying up. 🙂

30 Days of Meditation: day 20

I fully expected this session to be pretty perfunctory. I’d left it to last thing so was tired. If I made it to the end awake it’d be a win. What I didn’t expect was the itch.

It’s hard to ignore the desire to sneeze when you’re concentrating on your nose. I suppressed it a couple of times but eventually it exploded forth. That was fine. Then my nose began to dribble. Obviously something had shaken loose. Finally, after only thirteen minutes of sitting I cracked and had to go blow my nose.

I managed to make it to the end eventually. That was all I expected of this session, to keep up with my practice. Tomorrow I’ll just have to make sure i sit earlier in the day, and blow my nose before hand. That’s about all I gleaned from sitting tonight.