Learning To Focus: A Journey In Meditation

One of the biggest problems I had throughout the day was that I had trouble finishing one task before I found myself beginning to do something else.Meditation

And these tasks tended to stack up. By the end of the week, I would have about a dozen things to do that have all been started but all unfinished.

Clearly, this is not how to get things done.

One of the first things I did was go back to two articles on the powers of meditation that I read on the NY Times some time ago. According to these articles, people who made it a habit to meditate tended have sharper focus than people who did not.

Read about it here and here.

Well, this definitely sounded interesting. So I thought that it was worth a try!

Meditation: Getting Started

Thanks to Google, I was able to quickly look up some quick tips on how to get started with my meditation. It entailed three basic things (well there were a couple but in my cluttered mind, I immediately cut everything to the bare minimum that I could absorb at the time).

  1. Find a quiet spot.
  2. Sit in a relaxed position.
  3. Breathe deeply.

With those three core to-do’s on my list, I immediately decided to set out and develop the habit (more on habit development later) of meditating.

Meditation: It is NOT Easy

One of the key things that you have to practice over the course of meditation is the ability to clear your mind.

Or think of nothing.

Easy in theory but apparently much more difficult in practice.

If you have ever sat down for any length of time and did nothing but breathe deeply, you will find that your mind tends to wander.

A lot.

The goal is to take these thoughts, hold on to them for just a moment and just let it go.

Easy?

Not quite.

 When Trying to Think About Nothing, Your Mind Tends to Think About ANYTHING

The thoughts are pretty random and when your mind wanders, it really does tend to think things through. Especially when you are doing nothing but trying to NOT think about anything.

Ommmm……

In between breaths, I wonder, did I pay my phone bill last month? I probably did…but wait, maybe that was for the month before? Where did I put that receipt? I have to check that out once my meditation is done. Anyway, time to let it go….

Ommmm….

Wait, I was supposed to file my papers for my insurance claim the other day…what was it I had to submit?

Ommmm….

A Quick Fix To A Wandering Mind

A trick that beginners can do to stop your mind from wandering is to count or stick to a mantra. This locks your brain up and keeps it from thinking of anything else.

I did find one problem with this, however.

After counting indefinitely or humming one mantra over and over, I came upon a problem that I have with the technique.

I fall asleep.

But I think this is a problem that I can definitely push past. I think my problem with my technique is that I tend to do my meditation with my back resting against something, like sitting on a recliner or in bed whereas some most tips that I have read involve sitting in a relaxed upright position.

Current Prognosis

I have read that it takes about eight weeks for the brain to finally rewire itself to a point where you are supposed to become “more focused.”

At this point in time, I am about two weeks into my new “habit.”

Am I seeing any changes?

Well I am definitely more productive at the moment. At least 50% more so. But this might also be because I am breaking some bad habits (more on this later) which have been sucking up my time.

Am I more focused?

I think so. I am definitely starting to see things through. My tasks are starting and ending. But if this is the result of meditation, I guess it is too early to tell.

Meditation Made Easy

While doing some more extra research on meditation, I read somewhere (sorry I can’t find the source anymore) that if you cannot find time for a thirty minute session, a two minute quickie will do just fine as long as I take some time to do it several times throughout the day.

I am currently testing this and let’s see if the effects are the same. So far, I find that it is easier to retain my focus and keep my mind blank for two minutes than trying to hold it all together for a full half-hour.

But besides that quick-fix sort of solution, I was wondering if any of these “meditation tools” are giving me any sort of boost.

A meditation CD that trains you to quiet your thoughts. So far, I do find myself able to find that “quiet place” when I have this playing in the background. You might want to try it.

Meditation CD

And a meditation book that I think (and also according to numerous reviews that I have read about it) is probably one of the most effective books out there.

Deep Meditation

And I think that this book is also quite promising:

Secrets of Meditation

 

If you have tried any of the stuff above or have read any other book (right now, Google is my main source of info) on the topic, I would be very gratefully consider any personal recommendation!

 Give It a Try!

So that’s MY story. What’s yours?

Right now, I’m hoping that if I managed to keep your attention up to this point, it might be because you are now also curious enough to want to try this out for yourself.

And if you already have tried it, what did you find out about yourself? What sort of experience did you get from trying this out?

And most of all…

DID IT WORK??

Please, I would love to hear from you!

 – The Cubicle Hugger

 

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