My third experiment, 30 Days of Meditation, officially came to a close yesterday. Although it continued to be challenging in some ways – I admittedly forgot or skipped a few days here and there – overall I found it highly beneficial. I will definitely continue to meditate more regularly than I have in the past; there is scientific data that suggests when we put our minds into the alpha and theta waves (mental calm and wakeful rest), as opposed to the “planning & tasking” beta waves that are usually in action when we are conscious, it brings tremendous benefits. Reducing stress, improving focus and memory, and emotional clarity are only some of these.
But can’t you get those benefits from just resting? Not really. When we just rest without any specific mental technique or clearing, those beta waves usually remain present; our mind is still whirring away in the background. But studies have shown that reaching alpha and theta waves while we are still awake, rather than asleep, is extremely beneficial.
My biggest benefit from meditation came when I did specific sleep, relaxation, calming or breath awareness meditations right before going to sleep. I sometimes have trouble sleeping – that mind, constantly going over all the things in my life – and meditation definitely helps with this.
Before I close out my Meditation project, I’d like to share a very interesting resource I came across called Inner Engineering. We spend a lot of time “engineering” our exteriors, with diet, exercise, grooming, make-up, fashion and sometimes even plastic surgery. Why don’t most of us spend even a fraction of that time and energy engineering what is vastly more important – our inner selves?
That’s the focus of Inner Engineering, a 7-part program for wellbeing derived from the ancient science of yoga. There is a free introductory session on the website, with Sadhguru, which I found to contain some real nuggets of simple wisdom. He’s pretty funny too – I’ve never heard a guru use the word “bullshit” so many times! Here’s a bit of what he has to say:
We as human beings, in pursuit of happiness, have gone about engineering this world for our comfort and convenience. Yet we cannot say we know well-being, because true well-being happens to a human being when he feels joyful, peaceful and blissful within himself.
No matter who you are or how powerful you are, you can never have outside situations 100% the way you want. We can manage it to some extent the way we want it, but we can never have it 100% the way we want it. I’m glad the world isn’t happening just the way you want it, because if it was where do I go, where does everybody else go?
The only misery in human life is that life is not happening the way you think it should happen. Have you ever found anyone else who was exactly what you wanted them to be? But at least your inner experience should happen 100% the way you want it. At least you must happen the way you want you to be.
If you happened the way you want yourself to be, would you keep yourself miserable, or blissful? If you cannot manage your own mind, the chances of you creating your outer life the way you want it is remote.
You can watch the whole session below – I promise it’s worth it. Will at least make you think!
Stay tuned tomorrow for the start of my new 30 Day Experiment!