I've been meditating in one form or another for decades. Being an artist, I seem to have always been fascinated by the concept and practice of tapping into other realms of reality and exploring levels of consciousness.
Creativity seems to really thrive in this surrendered state of stillness and acceptance and I've tried it all…hypnotherapy, self-hypnosis, yoga, silent meditation, YouTube ,videos, books, drugs and cleanse, all with the intention of helping me tap in.
Don't be impressed though, I've fallen off the track many times. I think those of us who are drawn towards mindfulness work the most are generally the most in need of it. So to the rest of you recovering broken people…Hi!
Recently, the universe has been shoving obvious clues in front of my face to urge changes in my life. Thus I've prioritized my spiritual health much more serious than I used to.
Meditation can promote healing of the body through improved immune function, clearer thought processes, increases awareness, an improved ability to be present and a path to gratitude and love.
For all these reasons and more, I've been pretty regimented about my mindfulness practice over the past six months.
Mediation can take many forms. A single conscious breath, painting, yoga, watching the sunrise or guided meditation. If you're anything like me, you either do or think about meditation or at least are curious about it.
Waking Up App
I wanted to share one of the recent methods I've been using that has helped me and taught me a lot. Before I do, let me be clear, I don't know Sam Harris (I wish I did). That said though, this neuroscientist, philosopher, and best-sellingauthor came out with a great app called “The Waking Up Course“ that I have to tell you about.
Out of all the apps and guided meditations I've tried, I've liked this the most for a means of practice. I usually meditate after each lesson and outside of this app too, but as a great foundation, give this a shot. Trust me, it's worth it.
My current practice, at least this month, includes starting my day at least 15-60 minutes before my kids and wife wake up. I get my day going and meditate before any phone alerts, social media or emails have a chance to distract me.
Speaking of distractions, I also ditched watching or listening to the news since around June 2018. It's been a great way to clear drama and distraction from my life.
What I like about the Waking Up Course app, is that Sam Harris teaches you step by step, ten minutes a day how to meditate. He builds up your skills one bit at a time and grows your understanding of what a “successful” practice even is.
He teaches several techniques, including Vipassana meditation which is the method I seem to benefit from most and also Loving Kindness Meditation (also called METTA). He even introduced me to meditating with my eyes open. Other apps I've used play calming music and guide me into a meditative state just fine, but this one teaches me and that seems to have made a huge difference.
What I've Noticed
After about a month of daily meditation, I started to feel the lessons and awareness seep into my daily life. I think meditation with my eyes open helped me connect those states of consciousness to waking presence. To be totally honest, I still lose my sh*t sometimes. It's not that once you meditate all of a sudden you become the Dalai Lama. I am noticing an increased ability to put a little space between my reactions and a quicker path towards mindfulness and calm after slipping from it.
Everything I've learned and read on meditation emphasizes how it's a practice. It's stretching and growing the muscles involved. So don't expect change overnight, but I will say that it's brought me noticeable change for the better in my mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of my life.
Anyway, if you too find it hard to quiet your mind, I think this may really help you.
If you use it and like it, let me know. I'd love to be on this path with you and share from each other's experiences.
Meditation is a big part of my creative process and I think you'll find your creativity increase dramatically after two weeks of any mindfulness practice.
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