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GOLD! 60 Days of 60 Minutes of Meditation - Let's Not Do Anything Together

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Matua

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Day 34

I was initially reluctant for meditation, in my mind just thinking "Oh boy here we go again."
I sat there and everything in my mind disappeared. Some thoughts come up eventually and I let them run their course. However, I did noticed my body responding to thoughts I was having.

It was mostly about the times when I was socially awkward to people and I found myself cringing for a couple seconds. This is something I knew internally, but never really paid much attention to it until now.
 

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Day 35 completed.

Very focused session. The personal mind was still distracting me but I was able to bring my focus back mostly within seconds (except for one time when I drifted away for probably a minute or so until I realized I became my thoughts instead of watching them).
 

Matua

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Day 35

Went by super fast. I'm still shocked that you can go deep into meditation and get interrupted by the timer, which makes me question, "Is that it already?" In a way, I can still sense how "long" it takes to complete meditation, but that feeling nearly disappears and you find yourself in some sort of place where time doesn't exist (but it does!).

I also want to share something that @MTF has posted on his Day 32 that happened to me yesterday when it comes to being aware of your emotions:

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.
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.

I found myself in the same situation where I was working on the busiest day while being understaffed at work. I felt an uprising in anger, frustration, and stress and my thoughts went absolutely livid.

"Ugh, why are there so many people coming to shop at this hour?"
"I'm literally the ONLY one busting my butt just to keep everything together."
"Where the heck are my other co-workers!? I literally need help here and there's no one!"
"Why is the manager putting inexperienced co-workers at my department on a BUSY day? What was he thinking!?"


As I was seeing my thoughts coming up from the frustration I had, I immediately felt my emotions rising up and my only choice? I observed my thoughts and didn't completely identify with them.
What was I going to do? Complain? Unleash my emotions out on someone? Yeah, good luck with that buster.

So I handled myself, kept myself under composure while still feeling an explosion of different emotions. I simply just said to myself, "Oh, look. Looks like my body is feeling negative emotions" and I carried on.
 

MTF

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So I handled myself, kept myself under composure while still feeling an explosion of different emotions. I simply just said to myself, "Oh, look. Looks like my body is feeling negative emotions" and I carried on.

:clap:: :clap:: :clap::

Good stuff!

Michael A. Singer says that this is what spirituality is about. A quote from one of his lectures:

You should meditate but it isn't how long you can meditate and how deep of a state you can go into meditation. It is: what is the level of life, every second of every single minute, that you can live while you're somebody's wife, husband, single, out of job, mother, father, teacher, doctor, garbage collector? Every second of your life you have an opportunity to live a spiritual life. That is the highest expression of your spirituality.
 

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Speaking of the above, I find anger much easier to deal with than a sense of depression/meaninglessness. Anger is easy to notice and goes away quickly. The second emotion, if it's even an emotion, is hard to deal with because it doesn't go away after a while; it can appear out of nowhere and stay for hours or days. Happens to me particularly often when I have low energy which has been my default pretty much every day for the last few weeks.
 

Mutant

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Ok, so I've been doing a mix of bringing-my-mind-back-to-my-breath/gently-releasing-thoughts/using-a-mantra-or-counting & that's cool & all, but I've also been trying to try out what has been mentioned on this thread where you actually let the thoughts run on as they wish, but observe yourself thinking, as if from a distance. And I would like to know your view on - how can you tell if you have "enough distance" from your thoughts? I'm not sure I'm separating enough. How do you measure? Is it how emotionally involved you get? How "loud" the thought is? I know it's going to be super subjective, but if anyone has any guidance, it may help me make sense of what I'm trying to do. Thank you!
 

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Ok, so I've been doing a mix of bringing-my-mind-back-to-my-breath/gently-releasing-thoughts/using-a-mantra-or-counting & that's cool & all, but I've also been trying to try out what has been mentioned on this thread where you actually let the thoughts run on as they wish, but observe yourself thinking, as if from a distance. And I would like to know your view on - how can you tell if you have "enough distance" from your thoughts? I'm not sure I'm separating enough. How do you measure? Is it how emotionally involved you get? How "loud" the thought is? I know it's going to be super subjective, but if anyone has any guidance, it may help me make sense of what I'm trying to do. Thank you!

I don't really let the thoughts run on as they wish. But I also don't suppress them. It's tricky to describe it since it's something in the middle.

I'll use an example of sexual arousal because it clearly works on both planes (mental and physical). @ZCP will also find it useful (LOL just playing).

Imagine that during meditation you get a sexually arousing thought, say, some type of a sexual encounter that turns you on. Your mind starts imagining the situation in all juicy details. Your body responds to it. You're still there, watching the growing arousal, but the boundaries get fuzzier and fuzzier. You have three choices:

1. Suppress it - you don't want the feeling. You try to redirect your thoughts, think of something else, probably something revolting or otherwise not aligned with sexuality. You're fighting with your mind.

2. Express it - you follow the scenario in your head, sprinkle in more details, adding fuel to the fire, getting more and more aroused both mentally and physically. You lose the feeling that you're observing the thought. Now you're so lost in the thought that you don't remember you wanted to meditate. You don't even remember that you aren't this thought and that the scenario is just a distraction from your mind.

3. You let it go - you observe how it unfolds, noticing the growing arousal, the direction where your mind wants to take you, the body's natural instinct to respond to this urge, but you just sit still and watch. You can even comment in your head what you feel or what the mind thinks. The arousal will dissolve within seconds because you don't give it any power (neither through wrestling nor through expressing it). And that's the middle way.
 

MTF

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Day 36 completed.

Woke up pissed off and not in the mood to meditate. But it had to be done so I did it. Thankfully it went by fast and relaxed me a little (I was breathing very fast when I started and much slower when I was done).
 

metallon

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Day 14 completed.

I'm having some rough time now. I'm in the process of finding and acquiring customers for my new business. Meditation is keeping me sane. I'm now using Sam Harris' guided meditation to detach me from thoughts. @MTF asked not use any kind of apps but I feel very calming with the app's guidance.
 

Matua

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Day 36

I definitely had an easier time dealing with my thoughts than yesterday. As soon as any thought comes up and wants to take me in certain direction, I said to myself, "Oh hey, looks like my mind wants to think about ___."

I recently talked to my friend about meditation, and he said it had helped him in dealing with a major life event he had. He told a story of how he was robbed at gun-point and that he lost literally everything he owned, so he had to rebuild himself again. After the incident, he began meditating for two days straight to deal with the event. I honestly can't imagine what he was thinking to himself at the time.
While this is a totally different situation, it reminds me of reading a page in The Surrender Experiment where Michael A. Singer was severely distraught when he broke up with his girlfriend, and it left him to observe his inner turmoil.

It just goes to show how much we need to take care of ourselves internally and externally. It's hard to move forward in life when we constantly tell ourselves that nothing matters.

I've also been trying to try out what has been mentioned on this thread where you actually let the thoughts run on as they wish, but observe yourself thinking, as if from a distance. And I would like to know your view on - how can you tell if you have "enough distance" from your thoughts? I'm not sure I'm separating enough. How do you measure? Is it how emotionally involved you get? How "loud" the thought is?
It's like what @MTF said, it's somewhere in the middle: "I don't really let the thoughts run on as they wish. But I also don't suppress them."

When you're meditating, you'll become aware whenever you're starting to have thoughts that want to talk about X topic.

I can think of four scenarios you can be in when you're aware of your thoughts in meditation:

Ceasing Thought-Forming
1. You might become aware of your thoughts starting to form in the beginning when you instead want to focus on meditation techniques (third-eye/mantra/re-centering). In this scenario, it's completely easy to resist the temptation to think when your mind doesn't have the full energy to resist you by (having more thoughts).

Ceasing Thought Mid-Way
2. You might become aware when you find yourself distracted in thought and then start focusing on re-centering yourself. This is when you found yourself accidentally or intentionally engaging the thought, and you say to yourself, "Oops, let's back into meditating" or "Looks like my mind is interested in (topic)."

Intentional Thoughts

3. Then there's the other scenario when you're aware of your thoughts, but you keep feeding them with more thoughts and you find yourself being entranced. You could get into this scenario when your mind comes up with creative and new ideas that you could apply in your life, or in the worst case scenario: you get depressed, anxious, or stressed out from a recent life event. #3 could be useful in a positive light to brainstorm ideas, but absolutely never with negative emotions. But remember, the whole goal of meditation is to distance ourselves from our thoughts and understand what's going on inside of us internally. Whenever you find yourself in #3, try to immediately go to #2 as soon as you can.

NOTE: If you're brainstorming new ideas in meditation, let the mind come up with them automatically.
Do NOT create intentional thoughts. This is so you can see how amazing the mind can come up with new things, without your input.

Enduring Thoughts
4. The last scenario is when you want to focus on meditation, but your mind wants to talk excessively about a particular topic. You can't really fight with your mind and suppressing your mind doesn't work at all. So what do you do? You let the mind chat all it wants, but don't engage or feed the thoughts. You just sit there and say to yourself, "Oh look. My thoughts want to talk about (topic) a lot."

#4 is probably the most difficult scenario to handle, because we have to deal with it somehow! And seemingly, no amount of focused-meditation techniques would work (suppressing thought)! So how do you do it?

Personally, I deal with #4 by "letting it run out of mental energy", or getting the thoughts to the point where I can take control of re-centering myself and not get distracted by the thoughts any longer. How do you know if the thoughts are "running out of energy"? You will know, especially when your mind just doesn't become interested in talking about X topic anymore. That is when you can sense it and become more in-control of yourself and bring yourself back into meditation.

You could also use environmental noise or distractions to take your focus off the thought and instead, focus on the environment. Visualization works as well.

This is how I handle not suppressing the mind, (not completely) letting the mind chat all it wants, but I still see what it's doing.

The point of meditation is trying to separate ourselves from identifying with our thoughts, but at the same time, never completely suppressing them. Explore what and what doesn't work for you and always continue to refine and improve yourself every day. If you become overwhelmed by meditating because you have a large flux of thoughts, then I recommend not continuing any further.

While meditation helps me out in numerous ways, I am still just a human being that's prone to flaws, trying to improve oneself and get better every day.
 

ZCP

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so worked on meditation during massage friday ....... i am single now, so thoughts immediately went to asking out my masseuse, some groping / jostling did not help the matter ........ ended up asking her out .... OH, she's married?? she told me she was a 'cat lady' ...... oh, made that weird now

i really like the 'accept that it is' thought @MTF ..... going to work on that and passed it to a buddy having some issues
 

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Day 36 completed. A different experience.

Had to squeeze in the meditation in the middle of the work day... and my mind somehow went almost playful.

Play in a sense that it repeatedly dangled completely distracting thoughts, one after another, in temptation to jump in and follow the treat. I know that's normal, thoughts will come and go, it was more the content and tempting nature that made it different. I'll be having a little chat with my mind reminding that that isn't really helpful. Still great to learn from and see some of the topics I should look at when not in the midst of meditating : )

There are many days I don't break in the middle so not sure if it was timing, cold, or walking my pup right before it that might have been factors! Doesn't matter. I still finished it happily and look forward to the next one.
 

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MTF

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Relatively easy session. Has anyone meditated 1 hour before going to sleep at night? I have done all of my meditations around 7 am.

IMO very risky; I'm sometimes half-awake in the morning, let alone before going to sleep.
 

Mutant

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Day 42.

Relatively easy session. Has anyone meditated 1 hour before going to sleep at night? I have done all of my meditations around 7 am.

I've been doing of these meditations at night. I just don't have time in the morning, & it's a nice wind down before sleep.

IMO very risky; I'm sometimes half-awake in the morning, let alone before going to sleep.

It's only really been risky for me if I've pushed it too late, so I'm meditating past what should be my bed time. I feel like first thing in the morning would be more risky for me, as I too am half awake in the morning, & often feel like I could easily go back to bed :rofl:
 

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Matua

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Day 37

I had a very chatty and distracting mind today. Even though I occasionally ground and re-center myself in meditation, it's hard enough as it was to observe the chatty mind run into multiple directions.

Relatively easy session. Has anyone meditated 1 hour before going to sleep at night? I have done all of my meditations around 7 am.
Only once or twice. I almost missed an entire meditation that day, but I came around to doing it.
Personally, meditating works best for me in the morning to get ready for the entire day. If I meditated before bed, I probably would've fallen asleep.
 

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Day 16 completed.

Struggled a bit in the middle for some time. But the session was good.

Hey guys, What is your posture while meditating?

I sit on a desktop chair, my hands holding each other over my thighs and keeping my spine-head erect.

Cross-legged on a sofa, with a pillow under my butt and my back against a cushion.
 

Matua

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Day 38

I didn't get much sleep last night, so I had a very distracting mind today. It's been a common theme for a couple days so far. Once I get enough sleep, this would probably subside, so we'll see.

Day 16 completed.

Struggled a bit in the middle for some time. But the session was good.

Hey guys, What is your posture while meditating?

I sit on a desktop chair, my hands holding each other over my thighs and keeping my spine-head erect.
I lay a towel on my carpet floor to serve as a slight cushion. Then I use a two-sided seat cushion to keep my hips elevated and my back straight.

I'm currently getting new seating cushion/chair for meditation and it should definitely improve my posture than what I'm using.
 

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Day 16 completed.

Struggled a bit in the middle for some time. But the session was good.

Hey guys, What is your posture while meditating?

I sit on a desktop chair, my hands holding each other over my thighs and keeping my spine-head erect.
Similar to yours. A few days I have done it laid down in bed too ( for too cold days haha) and its feels slightly different.
 

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Day 39 completed.

Fully awake but not super focused.
 

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