Meditation has been one of the hardest habits for me to create. I love to meditate but every day I fight myself to actually perform the act. I feel much better after meditation and I think I owe my sense of increased focus to meditation, so why do I still have such a hard time?
I think the main problem is that the results of meditation are so intangible. The average person, including myself, has a hard time exercising, even when we see results. We see bigger muscles, leaner bodies, and feel better, but we still struggle to stay on a healthy path.
With meditation, the results are completely subjective. You can’t see your brain in better shape. You can’t mark your progress in any concrete way. It’s an act of faith that you will be a better person down the road because of meditation. Hopefully, sometimes many months later, you’ll look back and notice a change.
Meditation certainly has shown me how much practice I need in the area of focus. Every day, I’m brought back from an errant thought by the person that guides me through the Headspace app. Each time I think, “how long was I going down that road?” I’m sure it’s common, but I still feel like an amateur.
On the flip side, some of my random thoughts have been very beneficial. I may remember a thought or task from the previous day or think of something valuable to accomplish today. I gain a sense of focus or clarity on my tasks, just maybe not what is intending in whatever recording I’m following at the time.
I think my main area of improvement has been my awareness of being knocked off track during other activities. I am better at protecting my focus time and minimizing the things that break my focus like phone alerts, emails, and phone calls. I’m even finding myself more mindful in small ways too. I’m making a stronger effort to correct small things out of place around the house or my work area, using that act as a way to further discipline my mind.
I don’t know where meditation will ultimately take me but I do know how I feel at the end… Calm, relaxed, focused, and clear. I have to assume that feeling lasts longer each day and brings a sense of clarity I wouldn’t normally have.
Do I recommend meditation? Absolutely. I can’t say that I recommend it based on the proven results I’ve experienced. I do recommend it based on the weaknesses it has exposed to me. I know it has become easier over time and now 10 minutes seems to fly by, so I’ll call that progress. I also recommend it on faith. It’s an ancient practice that many people swear by that has a small investment in time. With all of the things we do each day that have no proven value, why not trust the process and meditate to counteract the effect of our daily distractions?