I am eight months into a year long daily meditation challenge.
My last update was back in April. I missed a few days around that time, and was held accountable, made the charitable contribution I agreed to, and got back on track with my practice.
Since then though I have not had much to report.
My practice has been steady. There have some periods where I feel I took a few steps backwards. Where I was sitting for days in a row without putting effort into focusing. And there had been nothing that I could call progress. I had hit a plateau.
Which is fine in a way. Meditation does not have to be a never-ending journey of some measure of improvement.
I listened to two podcasts recently that have made a difference in my practice.
The first was with Sam Harris, on the Tim Ferris Show.
He talked about his meditation journey. About how he is a lot more inconsistent than he would like. And how meditation retreats were the times he levelled up, and that in his own practice he really just maintains his practice.
That got me thinking about possibly doing a retreat, though I haven't decided on anything yet. Mostly it made me aware that I had stagnated.
The second was with Naval Ravikant, also on the Tim Ferris Show. He touched on some fascinating ideas. One was practicing mindfulness throughout the day. To try and catch thoughts when the mind is wandering and determine specifically the fear behind that thought.
And combined with that I have been trying to notice something in the present. A sound, something I can see, or a sensation in body I was not aware of.
Particularly while I am walking from place to place I find this brings back something from my morning meditation. It stops the mind racing, at least for a few seconds, and gives some peace or satisfaction. It's a nice feeling.
It feels for this is the next step for me. And I'm encouraged thinking that it could be a phenomenal way to really live life more. Instead of wandering aimlessly and unconsciously for a lot of the time. I could be consciously appreciating beauty in my surroundings or paying attention to my emotions or how my body feels. And then that awareness can extend to others around me.