Notes on meditation #2
So it's been just over six months since I started meditating and I've just noticed a shift which I wanted to capture here. You can see from my post last August, that when I started I had a similar experience to many with meditation - it sounded and felt like a good thing to do, but the reality was frustrating. Sitting still is hard; clearing your mind of a million thoughts invading your head felt impossible.
Don't get me wrong, I still have lots of thoughts jumping around when I close my eyes and start the practice but there are two key differences I have recently noticed.
Firstly, more often than not, the thoughts stay on the edges in my mind's eye - as if there is a clear space centrally with all of the thoughts crowding around the edges. When they pop in to the middle, if I get frustrated with that, the thought stays and grows, whereas if I stay calm and continue breathing, it dissipates and I get back to the clear space.
Secondly, I'm finding that in the clear space I increasingly get a mental image of something particularly calming to me that I can focus on and enjoy observing whilst I practice and keep breathing. I've had two mental images so far - some flowers in bright sunshine with a bumblebee circling them and being on a boat sailing through clear blue water with a clear blue sky.
I have no idea if this is normal or typical but it definitely feels like some progress and even though I don't necessarily look forward to meditating, once I've finished I would say I feel at least 10% calmer.
Learning that meditation is a practice that you have to train your body and mind in, I guess it's to be expected that it will take time to get used to. But I'm starting to feel as if the benefits are definitely going to come.