For years I have been interested in meditation, but I only started about a year ago. I had read a lot of material on this topic, but I never really felt confident enough in my knowledge to give it a try. When I started, I decided to go with a really simple technique - for the duration of the mediation I will focus on my breathing. Of course in the beginning it took me some time to adjust to just "not do anything" for 10-15 minutes, but eventually I got used to it.
I used to meditate using this method once a day (in the evening when the kids were already in bed) for max 15 min. However, for whatever reason it didn't seem quite right - I always felt like I can't really relax in a way that I am supposed to relax during a meditation, or that my brain couldn't really let go.......but I wasn't sure why.
Over the years I had also read about TM (Transcendental Meditation), and I was interested to learn more, to find out why is that technique so effective (if you want to learn more about TM click here www.slowolution.com). While I was working on putting together the Slow·o·lution platform last year, I met with the TM expert Franz Rutz, who has over 30 years of TM experience (www.slowolution.com). During our second meeting, I expressed the desire to learn more about this mediation technique.
So in the beginning of this year, I did a course with Franz to learn the TM meditation technique. The course took place on four consecutive days, each day for one and a half hours in the form of 1-to-1 meetings. During these four days, I learned so much about what it really means to relax and to put your brain at ease. For the first time I experienced what it means to really not think, and to be in a total relaxed state.
I also learned that each meditation experience is different, and the whole magic is really to accept each one of these experience for what it is. I think that makes meditation that much easier, because I am not going with any kind of expectations of what should happen during the mediation. I also learned that it is not only absolutely normal, but in a sense important that there are thoughts during meditations. This shows that your brain and subconscious are "resolving" the issues that I might have at that moment. We would also meditate together, talk about my experience, and discuss the important of TM meditation for my overall wellbeing.
During our sessions, I also learned why I wasn't feeling 100% comfortable with the simple technique that I started with - concentrating on my breathing. The reason for this is because by concentrating on my breathing, I was still forcing my brain to go in one or another direction. With this technique my brain never had the opportunity to just let go and relay. The reason why TM is so effective is because it uses a mantra during the meditation sessions. In the beginning of the four day course I was given a mantra that doesn't mean anything, so my brains can't focus on the meaning of the mantra. During the TM meditation I repeat this mantra, and what happens is that it allows for my brain to completely let go and relax. By using the mantra I am not trying to focus on anything, or "artificially" control my brain, I just repeat the mantra throughout the meditation. Sometimes during the meditation I forget the mantra because a thought had occurred, or the sound of the mantra has changed, but this is all ok......it is part of the experience:)
Now, a few months later Franz and I would meet once a month, to discuss any concerns I might have, how the meditations are going, etc. Since I started I have established a pretty good routine of meditating twice a day - once in the morning and once in the evening for 20 min. As my husband and I have two little kids, I would usually get up at 6.30 to do my meditation. But as it is with little kids, sometimes they wake up just as early, or I am simply too tired to get up so early, so on those days I skip my morning meditation. But I have come to the realization that on the days that I don't meditate in the morning, I feel much more under pressure, or stressing myself out for no reason, or simply have less patience with our kids.
I have also had the situations where my son would come to me during my meditation and just cuddle up and continue sleeping. I have to admit that for me personally this is a wonderful experience. I also feel like on those days, my son is much more relaxed and calmer! I also wish that I could have my second meditation in the afternoon, and not in the evening. The reason for that is simple - after each meditation I feel on the one side much calmer and more relaxed, and on the other hand I feel full of energy.......which having two little kids usually comes in handy;)
A few months into this experience, I feel like there is for sure an improvement in terms of my patience (which by nature is very, very limited!), or just acceptance of the things as they are.......but of course just like with anything else it is a work in progress, and there is still room for improvement:) I personally can only recommend TM to anyone looking for a technique to just let go......I know that 40min a day might seem like a long time, but I think that it is well invested time in your overall wellbeing.