Can you learn meditation through online and offline resources, and if so, what would you recommend?
I happen to see the post on Reddit and in response to it, it is definitely possible. Ever since I started meditation a couple of years ago, I was lost at how to start. Going to the library and there are easily 100 over books. As I started to read, this gets more confusing as different authors talk about different techniques. This finally all make sense when I came across a youtube video on a TED Talk by Andy Puddicombe.
Embedding the video here or you can watch it on the official site 🙂
Personal Case Study of How I Got Into Regular Meditation
Feeling motivated by Andy, I took action to get started. It will an epic failure. I fell asleep, my mind resisted and gave 101 excuses not to do meditation. I felt like an addict going in and out of treatment..
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day whispering, ‘I will try again tomorrow.”Mary Anne Radmacher
And I tried again. In intervals on and off and found a way that I sticked to the meditation routine for some time.
Here are the Step by Step that I felt was useful and had an impact:
Tested And Tried Method that Worked
1. Use an App as a Guide
I downloaded Headspace and got started immediately. The app is free for download with 10 sessions of 10 minutes guided meditation.
The few sessions were uncomfortable but it gradually got better and very quickly, I completed the 10 sessions. It opened the path of meditation for me. I restarted the program and started from Day 1 again for another month and that formed my meditation habit.
2. Form a Habit
After hitting 5 consecutive days committing to meditation, things got easier and the action of meditating got easier. Without giving myself any pressure, I followed my intuition if today will be good for 10 minutes or a 20 minutes meditation. To make it as a habit as per the 3 R’ of Habit change – Reminder (the trigger that initiates the behavior), Routine (the behavior itself; the action you take), Reward (the benefit you gain from doing the behavior, I created the following routine for myself.
The trigger will be after a good shower at the end of the day.
The behavior to bring out my meditation cushion, set my timer on my phone for 10 or 20 minutes and start meditation.
I make a nice hot cup of green tea after meditation and continue on my day.
Falling out of Routine and getting back to it
The routine of meditation maintained for 1 month, then it was thrown off as I had to go for business travel. The time zone difference and a highly stressful project totally threw me out of the zone.
I fell back to my old self, hustling, working hard and feeling exhausted.
Without much motivation from family and family, I did not continue with the routine for almost half a year. It was always on my mind but at the parking lot space..
It’s regretful and what I did back then was silly too.. I did self-bashing. I scolded myself consistently for the lack of achieving this act of meditation. The more I did so, the more I plummeted to the abyss of darkness.
Well, what goes down will come up. After a while, you kind of forget to self-bash yourself (I hope this is the case for you too) and you become less harsh on yourself.
Thinking back, it was silly for that emotional trigger on angst and unhappiness that was placed on myself.
Eventually I learnt to let go, what’s done is done and I moved on to try out the routine again.
This is the detailed write up on how meditation can be done by oneself. Kelly gave a quirky way to do so and she is correct. I do need accountability too.
You can read her quirky way here 🙂
Final Tip: Do whatever you can
What I learned is to do whatever I can. Set the intention, try it out. Depending on how badly you want to do meditation, or if you enjoy it, it may be on and off but it does not matter. You should give yourself a pat on the back on (1) Having a positive intention as such and (2) Trying your best to take an action on it.
There is so many things happening in our busy lives, why make an action of meditation a harsh regime that you will cringe due to bad experiences.
What about yourself? Happy to hear about how you started on meditation and if there are any good tips to share.