This is it !
Time to learn to meditate.
This is my first post of my 10-week challenge and I will set up a plan for each week, so that everybody can join this meditation challenge =)
I have been delaying this for more than a year now. I even bought several books about meditations and I just never got around to trying them. Ok, to be honest I was just searching for excuses not to start.
I did my share of meditating in China while training Wushu and it helped me relax and to stay focused, but as soon as I was back in Germany, well I forgot all about it.
The problem is that I have a hard time staying focused and prefer to do anything but sitting down somewhere in silence. In China I had no other choice. Here I have music, tv, friends, internet, all the stupid stuff which distracts me so easily.
I am sure you know that problem.
We all heard that Meditation is good for us, will help us to focus much better, improves health and helps us when we are stressed. But I am always to busy doing other stuff, which seems so much more relaxing, but actually is not doing me any good.
Let’s be honest, I never felt as relaxed after watching 2 hours tv as when I actually meditated 10 minutes.
Currently I am under a lot of pressure, because of my studies, so I need it more than ever to relax and let go of all the stress.
This is why I decided to try out a 10 weeks meditation challenge I found in an amazing book. The book is written in german and sadly I haven’t found an English copy. The author Marie Mannschatz has a really fun and easy way explaining things.
I won’t copy what she is doing, but I will use her week-plan as a frame and adept it to my own needs and experiences.
Week 1 is all about doubt and confidence and I will try to get used to meditating daily. I want to start my day with a 10-minutes mediation, which I will explain to you at the bottom of this post.
I am chosing the morning because I will have the positive effects for the whole day and because I know I will be able to focus better. But I guess anytime would work, it’s just 10 minutes so I am sure I can squeeze it in my morning routine.
I will probably just use the floor with a wall in my back. I tend to hunch over a lot, but with a wall behind me it’s so much easier to keep a good posture.
But some days will be special because I will need to invest more time, that’s why I list here everything day by day.
Finding a Mantra: This should take 30 min. I am actually not very fond of Mantras, but I will give this a try, because I heard from many people how it helps them, so I am willing to let them convince me. Some say the Mantra should be religious, others prefer sayings, quotes or just a simple word like: happy.
Well the Mantra for this week should be something to strengthen my CONFIDENCE. So I will have to think about situations, when I felt confident and try to remember that feeling.
The next step is to think about a word or a short sentence that represents this special feeling.
This will be my Mantra for the week. I will write it down and tell it as often as possible to myself. When I wake up, go to sleep, eat or wait.
It’s said that the more often you repeat it, the more it will help. So let’s do this 😉
+ 10-Minutes Meditation
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday
10-Minutes Meditation: This will be all these 3 days, which will be hard enough, because sometimes 10 minutes are a really long time.
+Midweek- Review: The Mantra was all about Confidence, but that’s just one side of the coin. Where confidence is the light, doubts are the darkness. Those two belong together, but it’s our choice which one we allow to guide us through our daily life.
So I will get a paper and a pen. and ask myself the questions the author asks.
1. When do I have doubts?
2.What helps me to let go of my doubts?
3. How much did the Mantra help me against doubts the last days?
Writing the answers down is important to make it feel more real and becoming aware of a weakness is the first step to fight against it.
10-Minutes Mediation: Basically this is a meditation focusing on learning the right posture. There are many articles online which explain how to achieve the so-called "Seven points meditation posture" (I quite like the explanation there, if you are interested in getting another point of view, but there are tons of different explanations out there). Set your alarm and start =) 1.Sit down, cross-legged is the easiest. Don't worry if you can't sit in a Lotus seat. I can't either. Just sit comfy and let go of any tightness in your legs, if you need pillows under your knees to make it easier, just get them. Otherwise you still could sit on a chair too. 2.Focuse now on your spine. The spine has to be straight. To achieve that, imagine a string on the middle of your head pulling you straight up to heaven and on your bottom is a string pulling you straight down to earth. Feel how you straighten your spine bit by bit. Stretch your spine. Be careful not to pull up your shoulders blades, but back and then downwards.Feel how your chest opens up. Take your time to explore each new sensation. 3. Next you focus on your shoulders and relax them. Let your arms hang loose. Just let them go. Feel how you slowly let go of any tensions. 4. From the shoulders now focus on your hands. I tend to have my hands in my lap, one over the others, like I would be holding a bowl, thumbs slightly touching. Others prefer to have them on their knees, palm facing up and thumb and middle finger are touching. I think you have to choose for yourself which position feels more comfortable. When you have decided, feel where the hands are touching. Let them rest and just try to feel each finger. 5. From there move up to your head and chin area. Your chin should be slightly tucked in. Imagine it pointing a bit towards your chest, but your head is still straight (remember the string). 6. Now you move your tongue to the roof of your mouth. but try to keep the rest of your mouth relaxed and closed, always breath to your nose ( that doesn't apply if you have a cold ;) ). Let go of any tensions. 7. From your mouth you're mind wanders to the eyes. It's easier if you close them, because it helps to focus. Otherwise you could leave them slightly open and look downwards.Don't try to focus on everything. Take in what is happening around you, without paying attention to it. There we go you have the right posture. For the single steps, take a lot of time and focus on every single one. Now when you reached the mouth you basically start all over again. Start with your feet, where are they touching, move to your legs, how does it feel, go on to your spine, correct your posture again if necessary, keep going, shoulders, hands, chin, mouth ect. When you finished start over again, if you feel like there is nothing more to correct, try to let your mind go still and just focus on how you feel. Don't hold an inner monologue ( That's what I tend to do), just breath. Feel your breath going in and out. That's it!