To take this path or not? This was the question I asked myself when I first saw the Inspire Yoga #21DaySIT meditation challenge, I had many questions in my head such as:
- Does this conflict with my religion?
- Could I just sit for 10 or 20 minutes?
- Do I have the time to dedicate to this practice?
All were just self-inflicted barriers, so I decide to ignore those voices in my head and take this journey and along the way all those walls came crashing down.
Let me start with the lessons I learned along the way that impacted my point of view. The first was that meditation is not the same as praying. Praying is a conversation with God, a reflection on the past or seeking direction for the future. Meditation is simply listening to my inner self, finding that voice in the silent spaces between all my thoughts and worries.
By focusing on the moment, learning how to hold on to that silent space between my thoughts and expand it.
The second lesson I learned was about time. I learned not to focus on the duration of my meditation. In fact my more satisfying and what I believe more productive sessions were sessions that I did not time. I just enjoyed the present, tracking the rhythm of my breathing and not lost in thought but rather enjoying the absence. One other lesson on time that I learned is to allow for transitional time to ease out of the session. I learned this the hard way early into this journey, I scheduled a 15 minute session sandwiched between to other events and I popped up when the timer went off only to come crashing down fifteen feet later as the blood drained from my head.
Finally, I learned it’s easy to commit to my practice. There is no equipment, no special clothing, no specific place required. I just need me; this was brought home for me with the Meditation ON-THE-GO portion of challenge. I had gone to dinner in downtown Dallas and stopped to walk across the Continental bridge. I simply stepped a few yards away from the bridge down on the bank of the Trinity. My scene was the Dallas lights, the sounds of the frogs and people enjoying a cool spring night. I sat down, closed my eyes and breathed. There is always 10 to 20 minutes in my day, I just need to stop and take advantage of those minutes wherever I am.
Now with the barriers torn down, I can enjoy the journey and the benefits of those little spaces of silence.