I participated in an 8-week MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) course a couple of months ago, to finally learn how to meditate and to tap into the creative potential deep within us that I'd been told could be unlocked with meditation. Hey, one could hope, right?
I was a reasonable good participant in the first 2-3 weeks. The class met on Saturdays and were given homework, to listen to and practice a guided meditation every day. I learnt to my surprise that there were different kinds of meditation: body scan (where you practiced being aware of different parts of your body), walking, sitting... I would usually do the body scan meditation an hour before going to bed, but most of the time I fell asleep. And when we had to move, my whole home practice pretty much went out the window.
I stuck to the classes though, and the session I most looked forward to was the Silent Day. We were to come to the instructor's house (I've never visited a more serene home) at 9 AM and stay till about 5 or 6 PM and were not allowed to use our phones or talk to anyone. I was REALLY looking forward to this because I hate being chained to my phone and would throw it away and live like a hermit for a week if I could.
For some reason, I'd assumed that it was going to be a day spent in stillness and would be relaxing. Still, yes. Relaxing, no. I didn't miss my phone at all, and was relieved to not have to check it for so many hours. But we had to engage in several different meditation practices, and it was exhaustingggggg. I just wanted to lie down on the comfy couch and chill, think about whatever I wanted to without focusing on my breath. But that was not the point of the silent day.
It made me realize how much more work I have to do. And while I practice mindfulness and self-awareness (not as a part of a meditation practice though), I've still a long way to go.
Do you meditate? How has the experience been for you?