Day One of our 14 day meditation challenge with Mindybodygreen + Light Watkins is all about what meditation is and what it actually means to meditate. As Light Watkins mentioned in the video, the word “meditation” is incredibly generic and can be associated with a lot of different things: guided meditations, visualization practices, etc. What we’re focusing on in this challenge is a “transcendence style” of meditation, meaning that our minds and bodies take a break from being “always on.” Our days are filled with situations and circumstances where our minds are constantly using various degrees of active thinking to get us from one situation to the next. The type of meditation allows us to truly experience the tranquil benefits of having a meditation practice or as Light Watkins says, “allowing our mind to become lazy.”
Our practice today was simple: finding a place to sit that was comfortable (chair, floor, bed, cushion, couch, etc) and that was free from distraction. From there, we were instructed to close our eyes, take in a couple of deep breaths and observe our thoughts and the noises going on around us. Light told us to imagine that we had landed in the center of a busy foreign city and to start noticing the sounds, sights, visuals and things about the city that are both familiar, unfamiliar, annoying, nostalgic, etc. to us. Whatever thoughts or feelings that arose when we were taking in those sights and sounds, we were supposed to simply observe them without judgement…and that’s it!
Easier said than done, but the two minutes went by very quickly. The first 30 seconds or so I felt extremely distracted by everything running through my mind now that I was just sitting without my phone or computer to focus on…but after the initial 30 seconds, that subsided and I just passively watched my thoughts come and go without trying to hang onto them.
I challenge you to do the same exercise: sit in a comfortable / quiet space, close your eyes and just notice the sounds around you and the thoughts that pass through your mind. Nothing more, nothing less – just observing without judgement or expectation.