Ok, I’m not a zen master, it’s only been a couple of weeks, but I do feel a little more calm and collected. Here are my five best and worst discoveries, realisations and cogitations from Challenge 1 – a meander through meditation and mindfulness
First is Best
- I have remembered that am not a brain in a jar. Forgive the cheesiness of the forthcoming statement – I feel more in touch with my physical self. Although not enough to have stopped walking into door frames and table edges, my spatial awareness still does not seem to extend to registering where my shoulders and knees end and other objects begin.
- I have learned that there are loads of meditation techniques out there. Since my natural cynicism is generally outweighed by my curiosity (the kind that did for the cat) I’ve tried to reserve judgement until I’ve learned a bit more/tried it out. There have of course been times when I should have listened to my inner cynic, but y’know, it’s been a learning curve.
- It is wonderful to not think about anything, even if I’ve only managed it for about ten seconds of a day. I can’t think of a time before now when my brain has shut-the-*@£!-up. Even when it’s all mushy and miserable it likes to go on about it. A bit of not-thinking is bliss and worth the surprising amount of effort.
- I have noticed little and lovely things more, although I stopped to photograph a spotlight of sunshine falling across some grass the other day and decided that it was possible to take things too far. Plus I am a pretty terrible photographer.
- This blog has got me writing and doodling again. And I have been inspired, informed and entertained by other blogs, articles and essays along the way. Long may that continue.
- My boss is never going to think that stopping to be in the moment is a valid reason for being late to work. No matter how lovely the birdsong/ river sparkle or angle of sunlight I have been enjoying.
- Mindfulness is a discipline really, and that takes work. Which is fine, it’s just a bit tougher than I realised.
- It can be hard to stay awake during some of the exercises. You’re supposed to stay awake to benefit. Sigh.
- I have an aversion to pipe-music. Just sayin’.
- There are individuals and organisations out there offering theories, resources and services that involve parting with a lot of money. And they are targeting a demographic (ie. me) that is often vulnerable to promises of psychological relief. Maybe some of these truly are brilliant and life changing (I admit, I didn’t spend any hard cash finding outbecause I am a cynical, wallet full-of-moths creature) and I am horribly wrong. But in my humble opinion there’s a world of difference between spending a bit of cash on an App, CD (they still make them you know) DVD or book that will teach you something and signing up to an expensive course that promises to make you a wealthy and healthy zen master if you invest in various talismans along the way. Unless you’re loaded, in which case…well, have a go and let me know.
To conclude: I’m going to try to continue investing a little time in mindfulness and other forms of meditation. Even the guided sort involving tinkly bells and waterfall sounds in the background. I think I’ve discovered a few things to store away for the dark days too – if I can be bothered to remember. Depression makes you forget to be bothered to remember things doesn’t it? Like how to get dressed or form sentences.
But, like I seem to keep saying, I am going to try.