Learning to meditate – week 1

A few weeks back I completed an old idea of blogging about meditation apps.  That turned out to be a spur to try on the habit of meditation.  These are the experiences of the first week.

I used the Mindfulness II app by MindApps.  I wrote about it before.  You can see that blog here.

The app suggested using one meditation for a week to get used to it.  I was going to try the Mountain meditation and I hit Lake, by mistake.  Having started it, I thought I’d finish and I’m glad I did. I did it 5 times in 7 days.  I can see how doing one meditation several times can really enhance my practice.

I liked the visualisation the Lake meditation provides.  You visualise a lake and then bring the lake inside yourself becoming a lake.  I wouldn’t have thought this was my kind of thing.  However, I gave it a go and I found it powerful analogy.

A lake can have so many different aspects.  In particular, the metaphor for the meditation is that you can have a ruffled surface, troubled by thoughts but you can find the calm beneath the surface.

I do wonder if it is quite the best way for me to create a deep meditation.  It made me think too much.  I conjured up a complex image of the lake and surrounding hills.  And, beneath the surface of my lake were abandoned ruins and fish and swaying weeds!

During the week, a reader recommended another app to me.  I tried it out and realised how personal taste is for meditations.  This soundtrack includes lots of affirmations like “You are unique”.  I know the person who recommended it likes this soundtrack.  I found the affirmations distracting.  I find the idea of simple mindfulness, just being aware of what is going on without seeking to change it in any way, much more satisfying.

I also tried the Walking meditation on Mindfulness II.  A tip: don’t try this for the first time when you are walking somewhere.  The meditation is more of an exercise or drill.  You walk only a few paces backwards and forwards.  The idea is to increase your mindfulness of the mechanics of walking and, once you’ve done that, you can use it when you are actually walking out and about.

In summary, I enjoyed my first week of building a habit of meditation.

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