Early last month (December 6 to be exact), I achieved 365 days of meditation in a row. That’s right. Every day, for 365 days, I meditated at least once. Now, some of the days were just a couple minutes. Other days, like during a retreat, I logged hours over a weekend.
What happens after you meditate every day for a year? Probably depends on what practice you follow. Personally, I follow programs from Tergar. They have a clear plan with ‘levels’ to progress.
The results: I find it much easier to return to calm after being upset. This is a biggie. I could hold a grudge, or feel triggered, for hours. A direct result of meditation is being able to “see” the chatter in my head and identify it as such. Chatter. It’s not based in reality. I could then let go of those thoughts and get on with the business of the moment.
Another benefit is that I don’t get so worked up to begin with. Of course, I still do. If you have relationships with other humans, stuff comes up. People will annoy you. Sometimes I can just feel compassion for that person. I can not take it personally. I look to where I can be helpful in the situation. It doesn’t have to ruin a whole day, or even a whole hour or even at all.
As far as being able to establish a daily practice, I can’t stress how important it is to have a teacher or method. If I was just ‘winging it,’ I could not have done this.
I’m not saying you have to do this program. But I would urge you to follow some kind of ‘program,’ or at least something to guide you through daily meditation. Maybe a Christian or Buddhist or 12-step daily meditation book. It’s important to not just read it. Thy to contemplate, then meditate.
After 30+ years of trying to establish a daily practice, I feel like I’m pretty solid. With Tergar’s Joy of Living programs, you get a booklet with guidance for that week’s meditation. I didn’t have to stick with that, but having a ‘destination’ in mind helps.
Maybe just start by committing to silent meditation for two minutes every day for a week. See how you feel. Then maybe stretch to 5 minutes. Watch your thoughts while waiting in line or waiting in traffic. Whatever works for you.
And you don’t have to sit in any specific position, or hold your hands a certain way, or chant anything in specific or close your eyes. Just sit. It helps to be sitting upright, but sitting in a chair is fine. I hope you can find a path that leads you to serenity. May you never be parted from sublime bliss, free from suffering.