I am a resolutionary.
New Year’s resolutions work well for me. I’ve habituated the practice of starting change cycles on the first of the year and I’ve made sometimes enormous personal shifts as a result.
As my life devolved into chaos from 2015 through 2018 for reasons that, so far, remain unclear my daily meditation practice suffered. I’d meditated, and sometimes blogged about it, for an hour a day, every day with no exceptions for years. I tried a new meditation technique in 2016 that proved to be harder than I was capable of doing and things started to fall apart.
My mind has devolved along with the infrequency of daily formal practice.
Watching it devolve has been instructive. Sometimes failure is an incredible teacher.
Watching it evolve for the next twelve months will be equally as interesting.
I’ve decided to share the process with you for three reasons:
1. Using the power of public shame to keep myself on track. Making a commitment and following through is much easier if I know I have to report a failure if I don’t complete the day’s tasks.
2. Seeing into the mind of a capable meditator, moderately skilled in practice but advanced in understanding, will be helpful to some.
3. I have developed an unusual view of meditation and the best way to share it is via real-world explorations rather than dry, structural theory. Eventually I will bring the teaching to a series of short YouTube videos but, for now, laying it out here will help me test my explanatory abilities and offer real-world insight into how mediation works in a way I’ve not seen modeled and described elsewhere, despite two decades of personal investigation into the practices.
A. Meditate daily, sometime between waking in the morning and sleeping at night, for one hour.
B. Sit on a cushion, unmoving as best I am able, eyes closed from the start of the timer to the end of the session.
C. Bring attention to and hold it in place on the numbers one through ten in sequence conjured in imagination at a pace sufficiently slow to permit complete contact with each number, one at a time, but rapid enough to decrease the likelihood of dullness.
D. If my mind or body become distracted I must interrupt the count and return to the number one. If I lose track of the count I return to the number one and start again when I recognize I was lost. If I maintain contact from one through ten I return to one and begin again.
E. Effort to exclude all sensory and mental contact from within the field of awareness except each number by bringing attention and awareness fully to bear entirely on each number as it arises and passes.
F. Get up after practice and live large each day until I meditate again.
Thanks for following along. Thanks for holding me to the task – whether I know you are there or not. I hope you find your time well spent because you find I have been able to share something of value.
Happy New Year to All!