I’ve meditated before. I’ve even done a one month meditation challenge before.
I didn’t have a particular reason to start this challenge again — it just felt right. However, it comes quite timely. The pandemic situation has worsened in Taiwan and so my freedom of mobility has been somewhat restricted. I’m also going into my second semester of Mandarin class and it is rather intense.
My homework on the first day was to hand write 23 new words and phrases 5 times each. It may not sound like much, but it all compounds so rapidly and works out to be almost 100 new vocabulary and 10 grammar lessons per week. I’m drowning in homework and had two lesson exams this week. It’s a grind but it has been very rewarding and I’m learning to better balance my time and manage my stress.
I was two years into the four year demise of a long term relationship the last time I explored meditation. Needless to say, I’m a bit more chill this time around. The perceivable effects of meditation have been vastly different.
I’m about one third through the month and noticing many changes and benefits. I typically carry a lot of tension in my face and I can feel it relax during the meditation with some persisting effects. I’m also sleeping through the night. I can’t remember the last time I slept this well.
Visualizations have been the most interesting. I had always heard of people seeing all sorts of wild things during their meditations but mine were rather dull. They are subtle and if my focus shifts towards them, they disappear. I’m finding that this makes it more exciting to explore.
My visualizations appear to be reflective of my mindset. When I lived a more black and white life, they were nonexistent or grayscale. I’m living a more colourful life these days and I’m seeing colours and patterns! Groovy.
While colours and patterns are fun to explore, they really only serve as a more superficial motivator. The greatest benefit has been to use it as a tool carve out some time in the day for myself and put a damper on a lot of the sensory noise that I am exposed to every day. Meditation may become another one of my monthly challenges that persist.
Self-discipline and exploration got me out of quite the hole in the past. It’s easy to become complacent after feeling better but I am rediscovering the joy of beginning new routines and exploring their effects over time.
I haven’t yet thought of a challenge for next month but I am sure something will come. I plan to speak only Mandarin for the month of September.