The whole year our religion class has been going to meditation fortnightly and today was the last time we ever got to go. I don’t think we get to do it in senior years unfortunately. But the 80-something sister sang a Christmas song to us and it was really really cute :) Anyway, meditation.
Meditation, scientifically, is something like bringing your brainwave rate thing down to a stage of half-asleep or something, but most people recognise meditation as something to fix your mind up somehow, whether that be calming you down or focusing your attention. There’s a thousand reasons why people meditate, but here’s the main reasons why I meditate:
- to improve my focus. I want to strengthen the part of my brain that yells CONCENTRATE at me when I’m doing some sort of hard-to-focus-on work, and I’m sure studies have backed up meditating for focus somewhere.
- it calms me. Just give me five minutes when I’m agitated or angry and after a little sit-down, I’m a little less agitated and angry.
- it's part of my sleep. Kinda like the calmness thing, I meditate last thing before bed because it really relaxes me. It gets me from a pace of working to a pace of slowness and usually sleepiness. Doing meditation before bed helps me settle down and it's like someone in my brain goes around and switches off every last switch during those five minutes.
So what is it that I do when I meditate? First, I turn off my lights, sometimes I tell everyone that I’m going to meditate (so that they can be a little quieter), and then I crawl to the corner of my bed where I put all my pillows. I sit cross legged, because that’s the most comfortable way for me to sit on my bed (whereas on a harder ground I like my legs to one side, mermaid style) and I find a place for my hands, whether that be folded in my lap, unfolded in my lap, on my calves, on my knees, past my knees, wherever they want to sit comfortably. And then I get up my meditating app on my phone and do what the guy says. I try to keep my back straight, my eyes closed and my entire body still, but not rigid. When it comes to breathing, I breathe yogically (yoga breath - ujjayi), which is in through the nose, filling and swelling the stomach, and out through the mouth, contracting the stomach more than you would do subconsciously. The breathe, to me, is the most important aspect of my meditation, as I focus on my breathe and where it comes and goes to.
I mentioned before that I get an app open and let it do all the hard work for me. When I first started out meditating, I would just use the timer on my phone to time out a specific length of time, but I think it was because I had just started out that made it quite easy for me to lose focus and listen to the outside world or whatever was happening in my head. But after a few, not failed, but not successful, attempts at finding a meditation app, I found Smiling Mind and it's brilliant, I must say. I used to have a neutral look towards meditation, but now I enjoy it because of this app. It has some really good meditation tools on there and the guy who talks sounds like a real person and it suits whatever age bracket you fall into. Did I mention it's free? I'd really suggest that if you want to start meditating, try this app out. The meditations they give you are only a few minutes long and they make sure you stay on track of focusing so if you feel like you'd get distracted too easily, I'd highly recommend it. I'd recommend meditation at all, for that matter.
I'd like to leave you with my weekend I had. Well, maybe just a couple of days. Thursday was super hot, so at eightish I went outside to see if I could find that supposed-amazing moon (I couldn't find it, I went out too early) and I realised how lovely the weather was. So I decided to do my meditation on the verandah. I sat on top of the little wall thing and meditated with my app. I'd love to say that it was a great meditation experience but halfway through, some massive bug came and brushed past me so I got really shocked, and as I kept on listening to what was happening outside my shut eyes, I could hear hundreds of those massive bugs, hiding away in the bushes. I did not like the fact that they could attack me at any minute and I wouldn't know, but I changed my thoughts to thinking that the night was 'alive' with bugs. That still didn't help.
And on Saturday, after yoga, we went to the beach and it was a touch too cold for swimming so I walked down the beach, found a rock on the other side of this short beach, sat on it, and meditated. The weather and atmosphere was perfect, with all the loud, crashing waves and the perfect humidity mixed with the temperature, oh it was just lovely. I didn't know when I would know when my meditation would end, but at one point, a fly landed on my arm and both he and I knew that I wasn't going to be sitting still for much longer. I thought he was a spider! Anyway, I realised that he was my signal for wake-up-Jordie so I shut my eyes for a few seconds longer just to finish off my little session, and then I felt a small raindrop. And then another, shortly afterwards. Obviously that fly knew when to wake me up. So I got up and thanked the world for flies who wake us meditators up :)