Meditating in public
Goal setting,  Happiness

The unexpected way my meditation boot camp may be working

I pick an activity to do each month for every day. I’ve had a dry month, studied language for fifteen minutes a day, tried to post a blog a day, and now, I’m meditating every day.

I found a simple app to track my meditation boot camp, conveniently called Simple Habit. This free app has seven-day sequences of five-minute mediation sequences. There are also premium options that seem to vary in length. Five minutes seemed the perfect amount for me. The fifteen minute a day language learning was already a struggle, and I was far more mentally devoted to that task than to this one.

My biggest issue with this plan was mostly around the totally unstructured nature to my resolution. Rather than meditating right when I wake up, I have meditated at all times of day. Rather than finding a normal, quiet place to meditate, I have meditated in hotel rooms, in car back seats, in my bed, etc.

One evening while on vacation, while my travel mates were watching TV in the hotel room, I put in my noise-muffling ear buds and tried to meditate. About three minutes in, my travel mates, who appear to have ignored my request for some quiet time, start interrupting to ask me questions, to ask me to hand them things to repeat themselves when I tried to ignore them. I’m not proud of myself, but I burst out with some unsavory words.

At this point, I am thinking my January meditation boot camp is an unmitigated failure. I’m not getting anything out of it.

Until the flight home. Despite leaving on time, the flight is late; there’s a screaming baby; the guy in front of me has leaned his seat into my knees; I’m tired and cranky. I feel myself getting more and more restless and agitated. So I decide to try to meditate. In this environment.

I focused on my breath, tried to accept outside interruptions without highlighting them, sought to maintain a “friendly and curious” attitude. I can’t tell you it was the most successful thing I’ve ever done. By the time we landed, I was still annoyed. But there’s a good chance I was less annoyed than I could’ve been.

So perhaps my meditation boot camp month isn’t a total loss. I still have a couple weeks left, so wish me well!

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