One of the most fascinating and surprising discoveries of AGEIST has been that most of our people have some sort of meditation practice.
I have been meditating daily for about 5 years, and had previously half-heartedly been attempting to for about 15 years. In my exploration, I became familiar with several flavors. The Zen variety I found challenging. It involves not thinking, listening to the breath and counting. When you have a thought or an image, usually by count number two, you start again. Note: meditation does not equal weakness, quite the opposite. The quiet mind is an agile mind.
David Lynch is a big transcendental meditation proponent, and has created a foundation and school. I have not tried TM, but it seems to be highly effective. Ray Dalio has been practicing for years. I read his description of TM meditation recently, and it’s like my experience with my own version of meditation. By quieting the mind, I can more easily listen to and appreciate others. It also takes the edge off emotional extremes of highs and lows. The endless chattering racket in my mind, which is still there, doesn’t rate as much attention as it used to. Essentially, the self-centered fear that runs endlessly in my mind is turned down, and I can listen and appreciate without trying to run the show.
The other thing that seems to happen is that random mental connections between unrelated events and people seem to fall into place with little effort. This is a weird one, but it is something that happens more and more. Answers to problems that I may have found intractable, will just appear. It’s not like I just became a whole lot smarter, it’s more that these things were always there, but the noisy racket that lived in my brain made it hard to hear them.
There are a ton of stats out there about meditation and living longer. But on a practical day-to-day basis, I find I am just happier — sitting for my 20 minutes every day makes a massive difference.
My current fave meditation app is Insight Timer. I use the gong sounds during a 20-minute session. Since I am still a beginner, and my mind tends to wander, I add a lot of gongs to bring me back into the moment. There is also an interesting online meditation course here in Raja Yoga that you may want to check out.