The below was written over the past month, as I did a (mostly) daily regimen of 15 minutes of meditation based on the various books about Buddhist meditation I’ve been reading.
1) at first it’s like a sitting still exercise: avoiding the irrepressible urge to jump up and DO whatever it is you just thought of, is quite a chore. I’ve been at it for two weeks now, and I no longer jump up. But I do still find myself doing a few little chores that are within reach of where I sit.
2) it’s not linear: dreaming off is sometimes easy to avoid, sometimes there’s no avoiding it: I dream off, and know it.
3) ‘ just observe your thoughts’ – well, there is nothing ‘merely’ about it. Dreaming off and observing your thoughts are so far mutually exclusive. The mind becomes still when I observe, but it’s not easy to keep observing.
4) one needs a timer, otherwise keeping track of how long you’ve sat still becomes the main distraction.
5) meditation can be scary. Practicing meditation for the past 3 weeks or so, 15 minutes a day, probably had some correlation with me getting a sense of aware stillness today. At first I was like, what’s going on… But as it continued it became more and more scary. I’m not sure what the scary thing about it is. Perhaps it’s that old Krishnamurti standup: fear of the unknown. Luckily for me, as I thought about writing about it, the stillness became less, though it’s back as a awareness ache if that makes any sense.
In another way it is comforting to know that the meditative awareness I lost by not paying enough attention to it in my twenties, came back after only a few weeks of meditating. Not that I expect it to stick around, there is something singularly unpredictable about spiritual experiences of any kind.
6) Meditation can be addictive, especially if you hang in there consistently for at least a month.
What they did tell me, but I did not realize they’d told me before I tried:
This is personal stuff I’m sharing. I’m not asking for advice of any kind: not psychological, spiritual or even on meditation itself. I want to invite you all to share your own experiences meditating and hope you will feel safe doing so.