My personal meditation practice has thus far been one of ebbs and flows; in a definite ebb the past few weeks. One of my “recharging” strategies is a monthly meditation class at the yoga studio that I like so much. Meditation with a group vs meditation alone is such a different experience. Both are beneficial and I love them in equal measure. Yesterday I joined the small class for an hour of guided meditation/movement and this morning I sat alone for seven minutes. Each method is a win in spite of the vast difference in duration and format.
I find that when I haven’t meditated for several days, coming back to it is a welcome homecoming but my mind is much more active and jumpy than if I stick with it for longer stretches. That’s normal I suppose and I am a believer that meditation takes practice to reap optimal benefits, even though the irony is that there is no wrong or right way to do it. It is about finding what works best for you; sitting in the traditional cross-legged position or legs outstretched, seated in a chair, standing up, laying down, or a walking meditation. You really can be mindful wherever you are and in whatever you are doing.
During yesterday’s class my mind was a whirl, my feet kept falling asleep, and my back ached. And yet, I came away refreshed and in a better mental state than when I had entered the doors of the studio an hour earlier. I received further confirmation that I was practicing in the right place for me when our teacher read from a book of one of my favorite meditation practitioners, Tara Brach, and reminded us that there is no right or wrong way to meditate. Your mind will wander and thoughts will come and go. Meditation is a process of coming back to yourself, over and over again.
You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes a day, unless you are too busy. Then you should sit for an hour. ~Zen Proverb