I’ll be honest, to start: I missed a few days here and there in the 21-Day Meditation Experience with Oprah and Deepak.
But I managed most of them. Which means in the last three weeks, I’ve spent more time meditating than…pretty much my entire life.
Each session in this challenge was about 18-20 minutes, give or take. Granted, the first 8-10 minutes was Oprah and then Deepak talking about “radiating joy” or whatever the focus of that day’s session was, so the actual, active meditating was about 10 minutes or so.
Which is still a long time to sit still and breathe and, you know, not really think.
I definitely failed horribly at that last part.
I actually found it easiest to just let my mind wander, passively. Let the thoughts flow in and out and around without trying to do much to them. Which in one sense is alright, I think, as I wasn’t actively engaging with my thoughts (for the most part). But then I’d find myself chasing a thought-train somewhere or idly wondering about something or other and have to tell myself “No, meditating. Sampriya…sampriya…sampriya…” (or whatever the mantra was for that day). Having those mantras definitely helped to anchor me.
While I haven’t experienced all the OMG CRAZY AMAZING benefits of meditation (better sleep, better focus, all that jazz), I definitely want to continue this practice — maybe not every day, but at least 4-5 days a week. I’ve learned that guided meditations are much easier (as opposed to just sitting in silence by myself), so I’ve rounded up some (free, because freelance budget) podcasts and apps I’m going to try:
Meditation Oasis (podcast)
I Should Be Meditating (podcast)
Meditation in the City (podcast)
(seems like this is less actual guided meditations and more interviews about meditation and Buddhist philosophy and thought, but I’m a nerd about that stuff so it still sounds interesting)
Smiling Mind (app)