Wow. Meditation is difficult. The mind, mine specifically, never seems to slow down or be quiet. So conquering that is a feat in itself. But add two puppies who bark and scratch, neighbors with kids, other neighbors knocking on doors, car horns, etc and it's like "MAN how am I going to master this thing called meditation?"
I literally just finished my first meditation session. Although I have done a little in the past, and yoga helps as well. I followed the guidelines of the book I am currently reading.
Meditate for no more than 20 minutes
Pick a spot and don't move once you've started
-Not sure if swallowing counts as moving?
Keep focused on breath
-If your mind wonders, anchor it back and focus on breath again.
Okay seriously, you don't realize how many tiny itches you may have within 20 minutes until you make the rule that you can not move. My hair was tickling my face so bad! Tiny discomforts you want to make comfortable by just a tiny little scratch. I managed to resist and stayed still for the entire time. Woo Woo!
My mind kept going all over the place, "hey I can write a blog on this (then all the things I'd write)," "I wish the neighbors kids would shut up," "has it been 20 minutes yet," "what am I doing tonight," and so on and so forth. I kept bringing the focus back to my breath, but it kept leaving just as quickly. I did manage a certain amount of time (could have been 5 seconds or 5 minutes), where it was complete silence and complete focus. It was pretty awesome. I definitely think that if I was surrounded by silence that it would be easier to meditate, but that's not life. So I figure that's just one of the obstacles I will have to overcome, and I'm okay with that.
Before I started this current book, which focus' on meditation. I read the "Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness." A friend offered to let me borrow it, and I had always been interested in Buddhism. Plus, who doesn't want to be happy? So I was all about it. I want to say this book has changed my life, but I honestly can't say that, because I just don't know. I can say, that it has had a major impact on my mindset. It taught me that Buddhism is less of a religion and more of a philosophy on how to live your life. It's all about being mindful. I repeat these words in my head constantly now. Asking myself if what I'm saying and doing is mindful. In my opinion, it's really just about being a good person.
So now I've set the base starter of meditating. I want and plan for this to become a daily habit. Maybe it will change me or maybe it won't? Though I know it won't hurt me in any way, so it's worth trying.