I’m wrapping up the first week of the meditation challenge and things couldn’t be going better. I’m now up to meditating 13 minutes per day and feeling great. Also, a couple of you have contacted me to let me know that you’re completing the challenge along with me which is super cool!
I will say that even though it’s going really well, it hasn’t been a total breeze either. I’ve definitely hit some bumps with getting distracted. For one thing, I’m pretty sure there is a yeti living in the upstairs apartment. It seems like every time I sit down, he starts stomping around upstairs, in what I can only assume is some kind of yeti mating ritual. Or maybe yetis just love to dance. Who knows? What I do know is that it was a little distracting at times, especially the first couple days of the challenge. But now I’ve pretty much become used to it and hardly even notice the noise.
I’ve tried sitting in a variety of locations and positions over the last week, trying to find a comfortable spot. Dealing poker did a number on my back and I find it difficult to sit in certain positions for extended periods of time. I’ve tried sitting on the couch crossed legged in the corner of the sectional (in what my wife refers to as the “mush pot”), sitting up straight but using the back of the couch for support. That works pretty well.
I’ve also tried sitting in a hard, wooden, dining room chair which offers great support and keeps my back straight and in a good posture. The only problem with this is that my dog, Miso, doesn’t really understand what’s going on because I never sit there. So she gets very curious and starts wandering around my legs trying to get a grip on the situation. It’s super distracting. Her little doggie nails clicking away on the hardwood floor sounds like a dozen miniature Gregory Hines sneaking around my feet. I try to just ignore her but she’ll have none of that. Eventually she starts pawing and gently scratching my legs in a desperate attempt for attention. But it’s just so innocent and downright adorable that I can’t help but start laughing. Not exactly the state I’m trying to construct. If I put her in another room and close the door, she just starts whining and scratching at the door, so that won’t work either. So I think it’s going to have to be the couch for me. It appears to be the option Miso will allow.
Lastly, I want to mention one thing that has really helped me with my practice. The other day I heard Dan Harris mention on the 10% Happier podcast, a really wonderful podcast that discusses meditation at length and does a really tremendous job of it, that meditation could also be described as active listening. That all we have to do while we sit is listen to or observe our thoughts. We don’t need to quiet our mind or hit an unrealistic level of focus or achieve enlightenment, just sit there and listen to our thoughts. That I think I can do.