I originally stumbled upon this challenge on Twitter from @Naval. I thought it was an interesting idea. So why not give it a go?
History with meditation: For the past six months, I have meditated on and off. In the past two months, I have consistently completed two sessions of approximately 15-20 minutes (one AM, one PM). This is my first time consistently meditating for an hour.
Method: Meditate for 60 minutes every day for the next 60 days. No phone. No apps. Let thoughts run through you. All sessions are done after waking up (unless otherwise noted). Using this timer (not an affiliate link).
Day 1 (5/17) – Checked the timer with 10 minutes to go. Scrambled thoughts.
Day 2 (5/18) – Many thoughts running around but less cluttered than the previous day. Had the urge to check the timer for the last 15 minutes (“is the battery dead?”, “isn’t this over yet?”) but resisted. I had the idea to create an Experiments page on the site.
Day 3 (5/19) – I was surprised when the timer went off. I wasn’t thinking about clock or time. Slightly restless in beginning. Some random thoughts: My brain seeks to place a label on everything I do so that when I am doing an activity, it can pull up the appropriate file. This works (and is useful) for most activities. But meditating is not one. For example, I thought of this post while I was meditating. Also, why do birds chirp?
Day 4 (5/20) – Switched between legs straight out and a more traditional cross-legged pose. The mind is a recency machine. Thoughts populate based on how long ago they happened. No thoughts of random events that happened two weeks ago, but many random thoughts about what happened yesterday. Also, others annoyed me (in real life and in a dream)… Not sure of the root cause, but at least I was able to recognize it. Progress, nonetheless.
Day 5 (5/21) – Reminded myself to surrender to the circumstances. Accept life’s gifts. A 60-minute meditation session is a gift. Internal chatter about how I want to share more of myself, my story on this blog. How I want to be open and honest about highs and lows.
Day 6 (5/22) – Did not worry about the time like I did the first few days. Thought: Does your body affect your mind? Specifically, does how you position your body affect what thoughts come up? Noticed mind was clearer in certain positions (lotus position, feet on ground) than others (legs stretched out).
Day 7 (5/23) – Woke up at 5 a.m. Did some quick yoga. Then sat down in the chair. Felt calm, relaxed. Not many thoughts on the actual meditation. After session was completed, I listened to my body, and went back to sleep.
Day 8 (5/24) – Again, the clock beeped and I was surprised. Whenever I thought about the time (once or twice), I simply reminded myself to “let go.”
Day 9 (5/25) – Many “I” thoughts. When you are thinking of “I”, it’s likely you’re grounding yourself in the past or future. Never in the present moment. It’s interesting how quickly we can adapt to something “difficult.” I feel much calmer than Days 1/2. Able to sit with my thoughts. Major improvement.
Day 10 (5/26) – Travelled yesterday so meditating in new environment for first time. Had the urge to check the time left on the clock a couple of times but was able to just remind myself to let go. Noticed before session: was anxious about everything I had to do today. After session: calm and relaxed.
Day 11 (5/27) – Confused how I ever existed without meditation. Prior to this session (upon waking up) it was incredibly noisy in my head. Then, after maybe the halfway point, an unbelievable calmness spread about me. I don’t want to make it sound magical. I just had fewer thoughts in my brain. This then allows me to complete tasks with more presence.
Day 12 (5/28) – Did this session before bed at night due to travel. Cloudy thoughts led to light led to more cloudy thoughts led to more light. A good metaphor for life?
Day 13 (5/29) – Noticed I woke up calmer than usual. Did this session in the morning. Interrupted by unavoidable noise. A good reminder that the circumstances won’t always be perfect. Often the external factors are outside of your control. Just focus on you.