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HOT TOPIC 60 Days of 60 Minutes of Meditation - Let's Not Do Anything Together

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MTF

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Do you feel overwhelmed by the incessant mind chatter? Do you struggle to focus? Do desires rule your life? Are you dealing with recurring mental issues like anxiety, feelings of guilt, shame, fear, inadequacy, stress, etc.? Do you find it impossible to just stop and relax?

As entrepreneurs, we're all about taking action. We may mask our inner issues with endless hustle. We may tell ourselves that we can't afford to take a break because our competitors will get ahead. We may use solutions that address the symptom but not the core reason. For example, we may use technology to block sites that distract us. While we won't be able to access them, our desire to check them will be back once the obstacle is gone—or we'll find another, perhaps even worse outlet to meet the underlying need.

As entrepreneurs, we often ignore our mental health. We may even tell ourselves that our mental struggles are, in a twisted way, good for us.

Stress? That's a normal part of life, isn't it?

Anxiety? It's good for me as it keeps me alert.

Incessant mind chatter? This means I have a ton of ideas.

Deep down, we may know that there's something wrong if...

...we can't sit down with our friends and family and just enjoy being with them because we're constantly thinking of our business...

...we regularly feel anxious for an unknown reason...

...we can't focus on a single thing for more than a few minutes...

...we're stuck in an endless cycle of trying one thing, only to try another to then give it up and try yet another, never going anywhere...

...we have no clarity when making decisions...

...we're wasting time arguing over politics or anything else that is beyond our control.

And yet, despite all these worrying signs, we keep ignoring our mental health.

The last year has been very difficult for me. Grief, anxiety, stress, fear, rumination, inability to focus for more than a few minutes, judgment, and lack of acceptance have been ruling my life. I'm slowly going crazy, losing control over my mind.

I started seeking solutions to get myself out of this disquieting state. Which brings me to the topic of meditation.

I'll use the words of Naval Ravikant, a very successful entrepreneur, investor, and a brilliant philosopher, to explain the why and how:

For your entire life, things have been happening to you. Some good, some bad, most of which you have processed and dissolved, but a few stuck with you. Over time, more and more stuck with you, and they almost became like these barnacles stuck to you.

You lost your childhood sense of wonder and of being present and happy. You lost your inner happiness because you built up this personality of unresolved pain, errors, fears, and desires that glommed onto you like a bunch of barnacles.

How do you get those barnacles off you? What happens in meditation is you’re sitting there and not resisting your mind. These things will start bubbling up. It’s like a giant inbox of unanswered emails, going back to your childhood. They will come out one by one, and you will be forced to deal with them.

You will be forced to resolve them. Resolving them doesn’t take any work—you just observe them. Now you’re an adult with some distance, time, and space from previous events, and you can just resolve them. You can be much more objective about how you view them.

Over time, you will resolve a lot of these deep-seated unresolved things you have in your mind. Once they’re resolved, there will come a day when you sit down to meditate, and you’ll hit a mental “inbox zero.” When you open your mental “email” and there are none, that is a pretty amazing feeling.

It’s a state of joy and bliss and peace. Once you have it, you don’t want to give it up. If you can get a free hour of bliss every morning just by sitting and closing your eyes, that is worth its weight in gold. It will change your life.

source: Jorgenson, Eric. The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness.

If you prefer it in audio, here it is:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2kgZ1Puye8&feature=youtu.be


Naval Ravikant recommends the following practice:

I recommend meditating one hour each morning because anything less is not enough time to really get deep into it. I would recommend if you really want to try meditation, try sixty days of one hour a day, first thing in the morning. After about sixty days, you will be tired of listening to your own mind. You will have resolved a lot of issues, or you have heard them enough to see through those fears and issues.

I decided to follow his suggestion. And then I thought: why not get some support and do it (or rather, "not do") with fellow Fastlaners.

The rules are simple:

1. You meditate one hour a day for 60 days, ideally in the morning. You sit down and do nothing (don't use any apps or guided meditation). Naval's suggested method is:

If thoughts come, thoughts come. I’m not going to fight them. I’m not going to embrace them. I’m not going to think harder about them. I’m not going to reject them. I’m just going to sit here for an hour with my eyes closed, and I’m going to do nothing.

No focus, no mantra, no dharma, no chakras, no Buddhas, no gurus, no gratitude, no scripture, no temple, no music, no gadgets, no apps.


2. You meditate every day. If you skip a day, you go back to day 1. We want to prioritize our mental health, build momentum and turn it into a daily practice. This is akin to a workout for your mind. It won't work well if you start and stop.

3. It needs to be at least an hour (use a timer). You can't do two 30-minute sessions or four 15-minute sessions. Once you start, you keep sitting until 60 minutes pass.

To give everyone a few days to prepare, we can start on Monday, December 14. Who's in?
 

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SteveO

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I've been meditating 4-5 days a week for years. I am currently loaded down with projects and don't feel I could commit the time.

One nice thing is that in this overload, I am dealing with this all in relative peace.

Earlier in my life, I felt like all these things happened to me. I was a victim of events and other people's actions.

Not so much anymore.

There are feelings associated with each of these incidents that may happen 20 to 30 times a day. When I feel emotions, especially ones that feel negative, I focus on them for a few moments.

The goal for me is to recognize the actual emotion (anger, fear, frustration, etc), feel it to its fullest, and then release it with an audible sound. This may sound silly but it works for me. Less pent up energy, etc.

I love that example of the barnacles. I use one about shrines. We latch on to feelings and beliefs and develop strong belief systems around them. In these, we continually add items and trinkets to our shrines. We bolster our feelings around these by glomming on to others that feel the same way.

I use meditation in two ways. To listen to my inner self and to help dismantle these shrines. It involves a lot of reevaluating our belief systems that are so ingrained in our being. We cannot have no belief systems while in this life but we can certainly minimize them.

I plan to follow this thread and all your results. Hopefully, I will have time in the future to try this.

This is a big deal to many people. Thanks for addressing it!
 

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MJ DeMarco

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@MJ DeMarco im curious if your a spiritual dude? I saw vegan on one of your bio’s. what are your thoughts on the spiritual aspects of life?

Not sure what constitutes a "spiritual dude" but I can tell you without question, I am NOT religious. I gave up on organized religion (essentially humans coveting a chosen theology, usually based on tradition or geography) many years ago. For years, I was a practicing Christian but soon left that ideology the more I studied alternate philosophies, and the more I realized that no religion could be the "truth" because humanity itself is run by the ego ... essentially corruption, or as a Christian would say, "sin". (A whole another story.)

But I do meditate, or at least, I try. I'm also a curious study (not quite a discipline yet) in Zen and Buddhism.

And since you mention being vegan, that is for mostly humanitarian reasons. I refuse to participate in the killing of animals who are as intelligent and emotional, and in many cases, more so, than my family dog. Since I can't kill a cow or a chicken or a pig, I refuse to pay someone to do it behind closed doors. Like most of the world, I don't live in the Alaskan bush and need to hunt for my dinner. I see the murder of animals in the name of entertainment and sensual pleasures an genocidal atrocity ... a Script so to speak.

BTW, I went vegan in 2017 at the same time I wrote Unscripted. I was researching "scripts" and carnism was one I uncovered. The more I looked into it, the more I was disgusted. Despite a lot of resistance from my taste buds and my traditional desires for flavor, I couldn't reconcile the continued practice of eating meat. Ultimately, I determined that the mass genocide of various species was the biggest "script" in the world, even more so than "go to school, get a job, and work for 50 years" script. It was a difficult decision for me to make, but then it became easy ... once I realized that the practice resonated with my soul, I don't even think about it anymore.

That said, I've never been happier in my life, and more at peace... even with all the BS that is going on in the world.
 

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Guys, just wanted to say what a pleasure it's been these last three weeks to discuss this with you together and explore this new world. I'm very grateful for the ability to find like-minded people to talk about and experience peculiar stuff like that.

:clap:::clap:::clap::
 

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In the Untethered Soul, Michael Singer calls it your crazy neurotic roommate.

Not sure if it was Singer or Tolle, but what struck me was the notion that if your inner voice was a friend who was always with you, like an invisible Siamese twin, would it be your friend? A good friend? Or would you punch him/her in the face?

When you recognize this inner voice's neurosis, you begin to move toward awareness.

I would suggest reading "The Surrender Experiment" by Michael Singer. It's one of my favorite books and is what got me started with meditation in the first place. Plus as a bonus he ends up building a billion dollar software company in the process which I'm guessing would appeal to the fastlane crowd here :D His other book which MTF mentioned (untethered soul) is really good too along with his online lectures and courses.

The Surrender Experiment was eye-opening -- not just for the "surrender" aspects, but because it was very entrepreneurial related, specifically, watching a productocracy go from nothing to billions. Several times. Not sure if anyone caught that.

However The Untethered Soul is what I consider to be a biblical type of work, something I've listened to hundreds of times. It is something you need to listen to over and over to make it part of your life. One read is like dropping a seed and hoping. Several reads is dropping the seed and adding water and sunshine.
 

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What do you mean by intention?
The one question you are talking about is an intention. Anything can be. And yes, you set your intention and then forget about it. As you say "be a witness".

I started with am intention of learning how to communicate with myself. My answers came in a visual form in my mind. Symbols mostly. So I focused on visual.

Another thing that I learned since then is that physical feelings and sensations play a big role in my communications. Don't want to go into a great deal of detail here as I might be deemed a lunatic.

All in all, your meditation should be open and flowing. You should not be directing it once you begin.
 

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What is the biggest benefit you experienced from the daily Meditation till now?

This will sound a little weird but well...

More awareness of my thoughts and emotions throughout the day and more distance between them and the real me. The real me is the consciousness observing them, since the whole point of meditation is to learn that you aren't your thoughts/emotions and then to practice not paying attention to your "personal" mind.

So, for example, something triggers me (or rather, my mind) and provokes anger. Previously, I'd immediately identify with this feeling and get angry.

Now, I have a second or two during which I can realize that I don't have to express or suppress that emotion. I can simply be aware of it and let it run its course without shoving it down (only to explode later) or without expressing it just because an external event triggered some inner garbage inside me and made me angry.
 

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MTF

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Day 32 completed.

Went very well and felt super short. I was very deep, dealt with some obvious blockages, and had some strange visions (cut short by the alarm). It's interesting how I always get hot and tingly (particularly in my fingers) when I'm deep.

As an example of how meditation/mindfulness/Michael A. Singer stuff helps me, yesterday someone said to me something to me I didn't agree with, and she said it in an aggressive tone. Usually I'd probably get annoyed and either respond with anger or suppress the emotion while inside resenting the person (and not talking to her as a "punishment").

This time I noticed the anger inside me and simply observed it, working (it literally felt like work) to relax my body into it and let it pass. Roughly 30 seconds later the emotion dissipated with no other action on my part. This is a simple application of the work we're doing here to dramatically improve the quality of life.
 

SteveO

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I'm impressed with everyone's efforts here.

There seems to be a lot of discussion around difficulties quieting the mind. It is not a big deal. Let the thoughts flow if they want.

Some of you are talking about focusing on breathing. That is one great way to help slow the thoughts if this is the desire.

I personally like to place a screen in my internal vision. Then place an object in that screen that slowly spins in a pattern. The visual helps me more than sound.

Letting the mind wander is great as long as you are not directing it though.

Great job everyone!
 
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SteveO

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One other method I use is my own personal landscape. I have a scene that has green grass in front, mountain with a defined path on the right, and a lake on the left. To get to the lake, I have to pass through trees and shrubs.

There is a buffalo that I pass on the way. I watch the actions of the buffalo to determine my own state of mind. Sometimes calm, sometimes agitated, or many other moods in between. This tells me what to pay attention to.

Sometimes I watch to see what is coming down the path.

I also use a beach scene. In front is blue and serene. To the left is fog. The other direction is clear. Move to the right the create my own adventure, to the left will be an adventure. I expect to learn something if I move into the fog.

The opportunities are endless. Create your own landscapes and play off of them.
 

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You can go into these sessions with the idea of total mind clearing as a goal or you can set an intent.

If you choose to set an intent you simply tell yourself what that will be prior to the session.

It can be simple or complex. Like, "show me what blocks I have to overcome in my business". Or, "how can I get more from meditation?". Anything you want to focus on. Let your inner self tell you.

It's not always simple to decipher but you will tell yourself through one or more of your senses.

Works the same way with dreams. Set an intent or ask yourself a question before you fall asleep. Also ask to remember the key parts of your dreams.

Of course you can keep it simple and just clear your mind. There are many ways to meditate.
 

metallon

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DAY 3 completed.

I am doing this practice for past three days. I set alarm for 4.55 AM in the morning, wake up to the first alarm sound, brush and meditate for an hour. My plan - Initially, I start with focusing on my breath then I just try to notice my thoughts and whatever.

WHY AM I DOING THIS?

I was meditating with the Waking up app (10min) earlier. But in the past three months, since I started working on my idea, I couldn't able to meditate because I was anxious and think about the idea all the time. Usually, I wake in the middle of the night and not able to sleep for hours because of my mind chattering and fearing the future.

Today when I was working on my web design, I was laser-focused like never before. I didn't even think about taking a break or surfing Fb. I was also able to get hold of my negative emotions.

HOW WAS THE EXPERIENCE?

I sit and meditate in a cross-legged position. Here in India, most of the sages meditate cross-legged and Indians are habituated from childhood to sit cross-legged. Initially, My mind would resist and urge me to do something else. As time passes, the mind will gradually become quiet and one hour time files quickly.

Whenever a feeling of discomfort or pain comes, I watch that feeling and the mind's attempt to make me move or quit (chattering). After a few moments, they stop bothering.

Big Thanks to @MTF for starting this thread. Reading your first post, I got convinced to try it out. Consistency is what I need now.
 

Barracuda

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Hello guys,
In the past 21 days, i found out a lot about my self. I always have a journal by my side before i start. When I'm done, i jot down whatever comes to me. In the process, i found out a lot about myself and my problems. Some of which are, my "ADHD", my addiction to the internet, and my insensitivity to others. At the core of it, Technology....my phone mostly. I'm deep into the bossom of consumerism. It's an addiction no one is talking about. Then i discovered a post by @Andyblack . He suggested that why don't we be producers, rather than consumers and gave some examples. It struck me,

-"The things we own end up owning us".

I'm taking a 30 day hiatus from the forum and the internet to clear my thoughts, and to "not consume, but produce" i.e no reading any self help book, no blog posts, no movies e.t.c. I'd just create things, and do things myself, rather than browse everything that challenges me. I won't buy or use anything that's not essential--Stoicism. I'd still continue the meditation, I'll use a journal to log my progress instead, I'll post after thirty days about my experience. I've been able to keep up with the meditation because of the forum. In the process, i formed an habit of waking up 4am. Which i haven't been able to do in forever. It feels good. I'll continue in that spirit.
 

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MTF

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Just finished day 1.

I woke up a few times during the night because I was afraid I'd get up too late. It felt like not being able to sleep before leaving for a big trip, which is weird considering it's just 60 minutes of sitting and doing nothing.

As for the actual practice, strangely I could feel my heart beating fast the first few minutes. Then it calmed down. Why such a strong reaction to something so simple? No idea.

I tried to just sit and observe my thoughts without following them. I think I did okay for my first session.

Sometimes I refocused on my breath, the feel of air coming out of my nose, or the sounds around (a buzzing fly kept me company lol). After roughly 20-30 minutes I had to change my position because my back was killing me. I sat in seiza and switched to cross-legged with my back against the sofa and cushions.

I was very surprised when I heard the timer. I was sure that it would feel way longer. I worried about my phone timer not going off (which is why I also set a separate alarm on my phone) but it went by relatively fast.

No mind-blowing insights or anything other than the realization how my mind is obsessed with the future, and to a much smaller extent, the past. Most of my thoughts were future-oriented: what I'll do once I finish the session, what I'll do later during the day, what I'll do in the evening, what I'll do with this or that, etc.

Maybe I'm also a little bit more chilled out now but that may be placebo.

Curious about your thoughts!
 

SteveO

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So, I'm no expert here but have done this for a while.

I do the same thing everytime to get into the proper mode. Anybody can use any technique they desire, this just works for me.

Regardless of which direction, image or landscape, I go in the same way.

Picture the inside of a cabin with as much detail as possible. Have a door that goes to a basement with 4 steps down. Each step down takes me deeper into a trance. Each one is letting go of thoughts and distractions. I count down backwards on the decent. Your mind should be clear by the final step. There is a door at the bottom which exits outside into the landscape or scene of your choice.
 

Zubairbilli

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Day 2

It was difficult today, but I found some insights about my mind I didn't really think about:

- My thoughts wanted to imagine the future and get me lost in thought to distract myself from the present.
- "When's that dang timer gonna go off?"
- Felt anxious and the fear of "Did I turn the alarm on?"

Whether it's being addicted to my mind, fear of things that may or may not happen in the future, or doing things before time runs out then I'd be happy, I let these thoughts go and returned back to the present-- using all of my senses to perceive the environment and my self.

I recommend to anyone to check out a video from Eckhart Tolle about How Do We Break The Habit Of Excessive Thinking?

Here's a quote from the video:


Here comes Day 3 of not doing anything!


Doing this really helps out a lot for me, even outside of meditation. Any thought that gets me to overthink, I override and force push that sucker by making that (mmmm) vibration sound. It's hypnotic to listen to your vocals drumming internally.
This was my first day doing it, it was great. I realized most things don’t matter, all I have is now and what happens tomorrow or yesterday is non existent. But I feel a sense of calm I haven’t felt before, like all f*cks I had are gone.
 

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Day 10 completed.

I'm starting to notice progress in my ability to control my mind. I can let go of random thoughts much sooner than before and with much less force (as in, I literally let them go instead of trying to somehow expel them from my head).
 

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Day 12 completed.

I'm starting to notice a little bit more mindfulness in my everyday actions and interactions. For example, I'm now more aware when I'm planning what to say next instead of giving full attention to what the other person is saying.
 

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Day 15 completed.

Went by much faster than yesterday and was more introspective. Also had a brief sensation of time slowing down for roughly 5 minutes after I finished the session. For example, I was pouring boiling water into a kettle and it felt like doing it in slow motion plus the sound of the pouring water was "richer". I guess that's how mindfulness feels.
 

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this discussion and the push HAS gotten me to work more on 'centering' ........ couple of breaths and me chanting 'center,center,center' in my head ..... helps me bring calm and focus to the task at hand. so ancillary benefits!

i have 'meditate' on the schedule for 1 hour this week. will get it done.
 

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And I think is time for me to read Michael Singer! Should I start with The Surrender Experiment or The Untethered Soul?

Start with the Surrender Experiment ... as @redshift mentioned, it gives some background on how the Untethered Soul came to be -- once you hear some of the BS he had to endure while writing the Untethered Soul, it puts the work in a much better perspective.

I would highly recommend his course "Living from a place of surrender -

By "listened to" do you mean the audiobook or the course ?

Yes, I have them all including the lecture series via audiobook. I cycle through the book, and all the lectures. It is now a routine for me to listen to them in bed, sometimes before sleep, or if I wake up in the middle of the night.
 

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Day 27 completed.

Wow. The first 20 minutes of this session (or so, I never look at the timer during meditation) I was as close to an empty mind as never before.

I don't know why. I just started meditating and immediately entered a deeply peaceful, natural state where I had few to no thoughts. And even if any thoughts appeared, they melted quickly and without any resistance. It was blissful. I could have sat like that for hours and it would still be great.

It was somewhat close to the feeling you get when you're falling asleep after a tiring, but very satisfying day. You're so tired your mind is empty and physically you're kind of "melting" in the bed. Only during meditation I was very awake (not like the previous days half-awake).

After 20 minutes more thoughts appeared and it was less peaceful but still way more peaceful than pretty much any previous session. I was surprised how quickly the hour went by.
 

metallon

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DAY 10 Completed.

Sometimes I get carried away by thoughts. But the ease of detecting and detaching from the thoughts is getting better. While starting this practice, I thought 60 minutes was a crazy amount of time to do meditation because apps usually recommend 10-20 mins.

Some benefits.
1. Before starting this practice, I woke up in the middle of the night and would have panic thoughts. Now my sleep got way better and the thoughts don't bother me much.

2. ALERT-This may sound cringe. I was obsessed with my high school crush with whom I lost contact and found her a few days back on Facebook. I sent her a friend request and waiting for her to reply to my message. Though she accepted my request, I never received any replies. Hence I was hooked to messenger, constantly checking whether she replied or not. I can logically think what I am doing is stupidity, but my emotional rush was not under my control. Now I am totally relieved from it and I can see things clearly.

3. My focus has gotten better. While reading or working, My ability to stay focused for a long time is improved.
 

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I meditate daily. Couple of things that can help.

There is no one right way to meditate. If you are just starting, let go of the notion you have of how it "should" feel. And please don't score your session

In fact, for the first 2 weeks, delete any such notion. Sit and you'll find your own.

If you catch yourself focusing too much on something, just recenter. You can pay attention to your breathing, or "sense" the space you body is occupying. Or if is a thought that doesn't want to go, imagine a river flowing with many leaves, drop the thought on one leaf and let it go.

Meditation is a process. You will be distracted, some days more than others. When it happens, get back to observing. The process of constantly getting back to observing when you are distracted is what meditation is all about.

If you get distracted many times, it is ok. If you don't, it is ok too. Two passages in Sapiens stuck to me:

"According to Buddhism, the root of suffering is neither the feeling of pain nor of sadness nor even of meaninglessness. Rather, the real root of suffering is this never-ending and pointless pursuit of ephemeral feelings, which causes us to be in a constant state of tension, restlessness and dissatisfaction."

"Buddha agreed with modern biology and New Age movements that happiness is independent of external conditions. Yet his more important and far more profound insight was that true happiness is also independent of our inner feelings. Indeed, the more significance we give our feelings, the more we crave them, and the more we suffer. Buddha’s recommendation was to stop not only the pursuit of external achievements, but also the pursuit of inner feelings."

If you can, try to gradually get back to life. Don't right away get up and do something else. Try it.

@Sheens , that feeling of space-ness and grounded-ness is absolutely amazing. Interestingly enough, for me time actually slows down. In a good way.
 
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Black_Dragon43

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To everyone else engaging in this thread - thank you! Glad to see it growing on its own with people exchanging their experiences.
Yeah, what I love the most about it is that you guys are building a sort of lab where people are experimenting and sharing their results with meditation. There will be a lot of knowledge accumulated in this thread!
 

MTF

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Day 7 completed.

Better than the previous days. Yet again I woke up way later than usual and that makes me anxious and affects my meditation (in addition to more sounds around at 8 AM compared to 6 AM).
 

S.Y.

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Day 4 done.

I did it yesterday not too long after eating. The session was much less focused than what I am used to. My mind was much more active and all over the place.

I initially blamed the digestion. But it is not it. Whenever my mind goes too crazy, I focus on my breathing to recenter. But because I had just eaten, deep breathing was uncomfortable. At first, it was annoying to me, which increased the frustrated thoughts. But then I stopped doing it as frequently, and my mind was just going on.

I will drop focusing on breathing in the next few sessions. By focusing on my breath, I limit the space for my thoughts to come & go.

I feel like a prisoner in my head. I can't stop the thoughts from coming. I struggle not to follow them. The best I can do is perhaps 5-10 seconds of non-thinking. Then there's another thought. Sometimes I stop following them quickly. I refocus on my breath, usually for a brief second only for another thought to bother me. Sometimes I fall into a longer cycle of thinking and catch myself after probably 30-60 seconds.

I keep planning, pondering ideas, and doing anything but being in the present moment. It's largely the same in whatever activity I perform at a given moment except for some activities I love the most which I can't do back where I now am (which further makes me frustrated).

Anyway, I guess that's what meditation for beginners is. An extremely frustrating experience with perhaps brief moments of "a-ha" followed by another round of thought vomit.

Meditation is not emptying your mind. This is a myth. In fact, aiming to clear your mind is the opposite of what meditation is.

It is truly about being a witness to your own thoughts. They come and go. You notice them and let them go. With time you will have more space between thoughts where nothing comes through. Sort of moments of actual silence. In the 80/20 philosophy, those moments of silence are the 4% that give 90%+ of the results.

Maybe you can try to set an intention before starting. Just acknowledge to yourself that you will have thoughts, and you will get distracted. And that's is ok.

@MTF so you are saying i should have focused intently on / in the massage and be really centered on the connection? that is what i normally do during a massage.

i heard from this thread (probably incorrectly) to 'let the thoughts come and go' as they please. knowing the deviousness of my own mind was my resistance to doing so.

@MTF @Sheens redirect me here...... so massage begins.
1. focus intently on 'nothingness'
2. focus intently on the massage
3. anti focus and let the lord of flies take hold
4. something else entirely

I will say 2, but I will remove intently. focus intently on the massage.

I feel like adding intensity makes things more difficult. Because then you have expectations that bother you. "I should focus on intently? Am I focusing enough? I should focus more? why I am thinking? I should be focusing? Intently" kind of chatter.

But based on your exchanges with @Sheens and @MTF, I feel like they want you to try the other way of meditation, the let go of control type.
 
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Mutant

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@MTF so you are saying i should have focused intently on / in the massage and be really centered on the connection? that is what i normally do during a massage.

i heard from this thread (probably incorrectly) to 'let the thoughts come and go' as they please. knowing the deviousness of my own mind was my resistance to doing so.

I think this is where I got a bit tangled with the instructions. I'd been happily focusing & re-focusing on my breath during meditations prior to this challenge, but this seemed like an invite to a free-for-all that I knew my brain would happily provide.

Earlier in this challenge (yes I'm in btw, always was, day 7 now, just prefer to move silently at first) I found myself split between free-flowing & then reflexively re-focusing on breath. It was kinda unsatisfying. After reading some of the later posts, I realised that there should be some level of detachment from the thoughts, & actually re-focusing on my breath was a way *to* detach for me, & bring me back to the present moment, that I was quite happy with, so I gave myself permission to just keep going with that & see what happened. If I was having a massage, I would totally just try & focus on that.

Then yesterday, part-way through, my brain got stuck on one point. I tried re-focusing on my breath repeatedly, but my brain wouldn't let it drop. I decided to let it go with it, & see what happened. It stayed on this one thing for the rest of the time. Kinda figured something out (or rather it was something I kinda already knew, but I just worked out how to articulate it succinctly), so I guess that's how meditation works for problem solving. I mean, my focus didn't stray!

To be fair, stuff like that I would work out normally, randomly during my day, maybe on a walk, or maybe when I should be doing work, or when I should be doing whatever I *am* managing to do, but should be doing faster, but am doing it super slowly cos I'm distracted. In that sense having scheduled times for my brain to crank through this stuff might be useful. Will have to wait to find out if that works!
 

Matua

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Day 8

Although I haven't reached that Flow state today from yesterday's meditation, I was mostly at calm and peace with my self. Even when I get the occasional chatter during the middle-section of my time meditating, I ended the meditation on a good note:

I gave my self into my surroundings by sound and silence. I let the sounds and the environment overtake me and become immersed into presence. I could feel the seconds and minutes passing by slowly towards the end. When time felt as if it gone by quickly, I slowed down by trying to take in everything as I could.

Just like @SteveO said, we all have more or less, similar views about meditation, but the way we approach it is different for everyone and that's totally okay. It's really interesting to see how you guys do it differently, whether it's focusing on sound, no sound, or on visual imagery.

With that said, @SteveO your way of meditation is really unique and I should definitely try it and see how that goes!

I m out.
Because forcing me to metate an hour means a lot of stress to me, as it doesn’t fit into my daly routine.

But thanks for bringing me to meditation again after long years without.
That's totally fine! Mental health always takes priority above all else. If it's too overwhelming for you, don't force it on yourself.
 

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