Thursday, July 11, 2013
As promised (to myself) I'm trying to be more disciplined about my daily practices.
When I decided to get serious about meditating a couple months ago (though not for the first time) I spent a couple weeks using a recorded guided meditation from the fantastic Dr. Joe Dispenza's website. I first learned about his work when I read his book Evolve Your Brain which absolutely amazed me and confirmed and expanded many things I had long suspected about life and health and my own potential. I can't even begin to share with you the amazing information in this book, if you're interested you'll just have to read it yourself, I'm sure I'll be talking about it more in my future posts.
I wanted to mention this because meditation can be very hard. My mind doesn't want to be quiet and clear, it wants to fabricate scenes and possibilities and thoughts, which is great, the problem is that unless I put some work in it just keeps recreating the scenes, possibilities and thoughts it already knows. It's hard to learn to generate new and original ones, and to enable change in your life and world you really have to learn how to generate new and original thoughts.
I generally would do the meditation at night before bed and again in the morning after breakfast. For a few weeks it was great. I'd get really excited about my before bed meditation and was really finding a great routine in the preparation and practice of it. But after a while I found that, maybe because I had come to know the recording so well, it wasn't working for me the way it used to. Sometimes I would fall asleep mid-way, sometimes I'd get annoyed with a particular stretch and my thoughts would creep in and interrupt.
My morning meditation practice was following a similar path but I was sticking with it (it was a little easier to not fall asleep, at least) until some guys started building a deck in my neighbors back yard and my morning meditation became impossible. Once the routine was broken I found myself forgetting to make time for it when it was quiet and possible but I had found some great books to read that were providing me with other exercises to work with so I felt that at least I was doing something and I was certainly making progress. This leads me to one of the things that really takes discipline: not only making time for my practice but having the flexibility to implement more into my practice, to not just choose meditation or list making but to find a way to place these throughout the day in a balanced way. (In fact, though I was really great with my meditation last night and this morning, I totally slipped up on my lists -maybe I'll talk more about in the next post.)
Moving on! After reaching a point where the recording had become more of a repetitive distraction than an aid I changed my meditation practice. As I said, it's very hard to keep a clear and quiet mind for an extended period of time but since I'd learned some techniques from the recording I decided to use something else to accompany me: binaural beats. Binaural beats are a really interesting concept. I've read quite a bit about them now and I'm not entirely sure what's true. Some people claim that listening to binaural beats stimulates the creation of specific brain waves and allows you to retrain your brain using their influence, others say that at best they aid relaxation. Either way, I'm interested. Using binaural beats to meditate gives me something to block out the subcity noise that's all around, it gives me something to focus on when my brain wants to be more active than it should be during meditation and it encourages relaxation all in itself.
So that's my up date for this morning on meditation and discipline. I might add that trying to get my thoughts organized enough to write these posts is also a discipline I'm not entirely accustomed to yet so I hope that the information I'm sharing is useful and inspiring and I promise to alternate between topics like this, which I think are toward the practical, and topics that deal a little more with the magic of life.