Yesterday marked my 200th day of meditation. In a row. Without missing one single day. I've meditated in seven different cities, in three countries, across two continents. I've meditated in planes, trains, and automobiles. I've meditated a total of 50 hours, an average of 15 min per day. It was never my intention to do 200 days in a row. Or any days really. I just began on a random Thursday morning and never stopped. I loved how the counter added each day and showed me how far I had come. I am loathe to go back to zero.
Here is what I have found thus far:
Day in and day out, our minds are piled with so much weight: bills to pay, the argument you had with your spouse, the upcoming deadline at work, the date with a cute guy last night, the house to clean, the great concert you saw, the laundry, the party you want to go to next week, and perhaps a dog that eats your favorite shoes no matter how well you hide them. The sheer amount of everyday details that we take on is enormous. Emotions, obligations, responsibilities, deadlines -both the positive and negative things of life. It all piles on day after day after day after day. With no where to go but to circle around and around and around. Bouncing off the walls of your skull.
When I sit down and meditate each day, it's like wiping the slate clean. Shaking all that nonsense out of my head. It is an amazing thing to take 15 minutes a day to yourself, in silence, and just breathe. To close one's eyes and focus inward instead of outward. At first this may seem silly, foolish, a waste of time, or selfish in light of what others need from you. It is none of those things. It is a cleansing process. Just as we shower everyday to get rid of the muck and grime of the day, so too, do our minds need to be cleaned of all the pressure and information downloaded that that day.
I take those 15 minutes and it is as though during that time someone reached into my head and untied all the knots that were in there. Even if my mind is racing the entire time and I haven't managed to clear my thoughts for even 10 seconds of the whole 15 minute meditation, I still come out feeling refreshed.
Some days it is really hard to press play. Everything in you resists. Those are the days when you need it most. Give in. You'll feel better.
None of this happened straight away. This is not a magic cure. It was a cumulative effect. Each day built on the previous one.
The last 200 days of my life have been anything but quiet and calm. Quite the opposite. Eventful is much closer to the word I would use. But the 50 hours of meditation I have done during this time has been an invaluable tool to allow me to enjoy all of it, the good and the bad, that much more.