Hello again everybody! You may or may not know but I am working on a week-long meditation experiment called “Back to My Body”! If you would like to touch base with the set-up of the experiment, then go on and do so!
My first day of meditating three times a day was Sunday. It was a pretty amazing day.. Mainly because it was my Sunday off work! I don’t usually do this, even on my days off but I stayed in bed until roughly 11:30 a.m.! It was probably one of the best mornings to early afternoons I have had in quite a while. Even though this is not the norm for me I sure am happy that I used this time for feeling as much relaxation as I could muster!
For my meditations, the first one I laid in bed. For this meditation I was still tired and lazy, so I think I might have went back to sleep during it! The second meditation was around 1:30, I went to the basement, pulled out the meditation cushion that my wife got me for Christmas last year and sat there in quiet for 15 minutes. This was a nice experience, but it did bring some thoughts to mind that I believe are important for discussion.
Before I go into my sitting meditation I have a few suggestions for anybody that does not have much knowledge about the process. When I spent a great deal of my time meditating some months back I listened to many guided meditations on the “Insight Timer” app. Many of the instructors said to keep focused on where the body touches the surface it is on. If sitting, that would likely only be the feet and butt (unless sitting in a chair,) and when laying down it would be a much larger amount of the body touching a surface. Also focusing on taking deep breathes through the nostrils, holding the breath for a couple seconds, then fully exhaling the breath through the mouth was standard guidance. This guidance is meant to help keep an individual grounded in what is ACTUALLY happening in the moment, instead of getting lost in thoughts ABOUT what is happening.
When I sat down on Sunday even though I went into the meditation in a calm state, regardless of my calm, I still found the session to be a little challenging. I settled into my sitting posture, and my mind began to wander. As I tried to focus on the sensations of my body touching the cushion and the floor, my mind kept trying to think of why my face felt tense and my posture felt crooked. But I did a good job of taking my attention back off these “problems” my thoughts were trying to put my attention on. I quickly went back to non-judgmentally feeling my body and my breathing. Soon I was in a mental state that was relaxed until the end of my session.
The relaxation did not persist all the way through the evening though. The Minnesota Vikings took on the New Orleans Saints in a hell of a playoff football game! I guess I was calm for most of the game since the Vikings were looking great going into the second half, but all throughout the second half I became increasingly nervous. The Saints pulled ahead close to the end of the game! Then the Vikings kicked a field goal with less than two minutes left! And back came the Saints to kick another field goal, leaving the Vikings down two points and a little more than twenty seconds on the clock. At this point my heart felt like it was beating out of my chest! I continued my breathing though and gave my best to detach from the outcome of the game, though my heart had a hard time listening to me, I kept my love for the team I grew up with. Then with something like fourteen seconds left, a miracle play happened and the Vikes were in the end zone with the winning touchdown! I was in a state of almost shock at this point, but after that I went outside and shoveled the snow. At that point I was an extremely happy man processing the game, even though it was freezing outside..
Surprisingly enough I was able to slow down by the end of the night! At bed time I simply did a 10 minute laying down meditation in the bed before going to sleep. This time I did not fall asleep during the meditation. Victory! When I was working on “The Gratitude Intention” I was focusing on the situations throughout the day I was grateful for. But in this experiment the focus is not on anything other than my bodies sensations and my relaxed breathing. I ended the night in a beautifully calm state. it felt like I was sinking into my mattress I was so relaxed! I feel asleep like a baby soon after I was done.
My first day of going “Back to My Body” felt like a great success! I know that not all my days are going to have such great calm and then such immense excitement, but I sure am grateful that this one did! I also know that I will not have this much free time to relax, but I am happy that I used the day very well. If you have joined me on the experiment I hope your first day went as well as mine. But if it didn’t, it is important to know that there are things that can be done to make the next meditation or the next day a better one!
If you have any suggestions or insights on what you have read, please leave them in the comments section! And if you know any individuals that may benefit from following along to this blog please share it on any type of social media you follow. I appreciate your support and I love you all! Thank you for stopping in to “My Life Experiment” I hope you all have an amazing day