900 Minutes of Meditation (and a request for advice!)

Yogi on Meditation.Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Beni Ishaque Luthor. via Compfight

The conundrum

One habit I’ve been wanting to add into my life is meditation. Recent research in mindfulness meditation indicates that regular practice “increases the brain’s gray in regions closely associated with memory, learning, and emotional regulation” (Greatist). Great stuff right?

I’ve had an ongoing battle with meditating since high school, when I was first introduced to it as a technique for increasing my focus and improving my ability to perform in clutch situations on pommel horse.

In college, I used an iPhone app called Habits and meditated 8 minutes in the morning and evening everyday (90% of the time) for about 6 months. Then I got some major knee surgery, throwing off my schedule and never got back in the groove of things.

The enlightenment

I recently was having a conversation with entrepreneur who is also a dedicated meditator and relayed my frustration for 1) losing this habit I had struggled to maintain for 6 months and 2) not feeling like I was getting much out of the meditation and thus having low motivation to continue my practice.

What he told me that his medication practice is one of the most important things he has in life (strong words!) and that it takes a deeper investment of time to see the returns. The longer the blocks and the more total time spent on cushion the bigger the gains.

The challenge

So I’m dedicating April 2012 to be the month where I log 900 minutes of meditation. Here are the details:

  • 900 total minutes of cushion sitting
  • shooting for 30 minutes a day – 20 mins in the morning, 10 mins at night
  • using guided meditation via the Simply Being meditation app
  • weekly updates on this blog about my progress

The request

So my request to you, dear reader, is to share with me your best piece of actionable advice on building a habit, based on your own experience (or the experience of someone you know well). Please share your comment below – I will repost the best ones in a follow-up blog post on building habits!

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