It’s week 1! I’m a little bit apprehensive… Will 8 minutes of meditation do everything that it says it will? Yoga guru and meditation teacher Fran MacKay assures me (and the rest of our class) that it will. So, week 1 home work is to read the introduction. Done, box ticked.
Over the next 8 weeks Fran will be guiding us through 8 different meditation techniques, each week we have to continue to use that same technique every day for 8 whole minutes. The theory is that by doing short, manageable periods of meditation every day you build up a compound effect. I’m really looking forward to the coming weeks of discovery and learning. However, that said, I am trying not to have any preconceived expectations… I would love to improve my memory though! Fingers crossed hey.
The first technique that we have been given is to concentrate on our breath, similar to yoga, however you do not change the breath, you simply observe it. Focusing on an area of the breath, be that the sensation of the cool air on the nostrils, the rise and fall of the chest, wherever you feel the breath most is where you fix your concentration. Fran says the most important thing is to allow any thoughts and feelings to rise up, acknowledge them, then let them pass, always brining your mind back to the breath. It’s like weight training for the mind. She also says to watch out as the mind is tricky, it wants our full attention all the time and will use many tactics to distract us. That pesky sneaky mind.
My first meditation goes well… I think. My mind is a billion miles an hour with several thoughts happening all the time, however each time I come back to the breath. What surprises me the most is my feelings of frustration and annoyance. Mostly annoyance due to the clattering and banging around of my neighbours, I’ve no idea what they are up to but they are making one hell of a racket. Each time my mind screams: “Will you shut up! Can’t you see I’m trying to meditate in here!” This makes me smile, tricky old Mind trying to distract me from my breath. Well Mind, this is a competition that you are not going to win… hahaha who’d have thought, me in a competition with my own mind.