I just finished sitting for 15 minutes as part of the 28 day challenge. My first meditation practice was only a few weeks ago, and I had little understanding of what I was doing. Last night I read the first few chapters of Sharon’s book (Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation) which filled in many of the pieces I was missing from the purpose and practice of meditation. I have started trying to take a few moments at the start of each class I teach and focus on my breath, however I always thought I was supposed to focus on the words “in” and “out”, not on the feeling of the breath. Reading and listening to Sharon’s book was eye-opening and I was eager to practice feeling the breath, not hearing more words in my head!
I felt like Sharon was talking directly to me about the stress, anxiety and self-doubt I feel as a teacher at a new school in a new city. Learning that this was common and that meditation can help quell these voices made me much more motivated for my first practice this morning.
While sitting this morning, I struggled to let go of the thoughts running through my mind, but Sharon’s reminders to focus on my breath helped. However, instead of feeling like I was gently noticing and letting go of my thoughts, I felt more like I was wrestling with myself to throw them away–a much more violent image than clouds passing by! Every once in a while I would have a moment where I could just feel my breath. I am hoping with continued practice, this will become more prevalent.