Today, after a week of daily meditation, I completed the 7 days of mindfulness program on the ‘Calm’ app. Each day there was a guided meditation focusing on a different meditative technique. For my own reference and your benefit, here are the concepts and techniques it covered on each day:
Day 1: Counting 1 on the in breath and 2 on the out breath
Day 2: Saying breathe in and breathe out to focus the awareness on the breath
Day 3: Body scan
Day 4: Pulling out of autopilot. Notice when your attention is being pulled away from the breath and then bring it back
Day 5: The value of non-doing
Day 6: Patience. Having a patient, loving and kind attitude when you drift off and bring it back to the breath
Day 7: Awareness, of sensations in body
It reads like a beginner’s guide to meditation book. No need to reinvent the wheel. Although I did find there was a certain freshness to the audio tracks which was nice. I would recommend it.
In the past I’ve found that meditating alone without going to group meditations has been quite unconstructive after a point. It felt like I just hit a wall and stopped making progress. Perhaps even going backwards. However, I found that listening to these guided meditations has given me a great deal of progress within the space fo a week. I feel amazing.
I look forward to trying these techniques in my guided meditations. I have little doubt that practising techniques such as these is better than unsuccessfully trying to refocus on one’s breath and continuing to loop around in one’s mind unsure of where one’s attention really is. Body scans and awareness get you more into your body, and therefore out of your mind. Noting the breath helps to entangle one’s mind to their breath.
I know, firsthand, that yoga and meditation are very complimentary. Yoga has the favourable effect of getting you very deeply into your body. Unifying your body, breath, mind, and awareness. I find it a very effective and pleasant state to meditate in, and that it helps with solo meditation.
So in summary, here is the lesson that I have learned and now pass on to you:
You can improve the effectiveness of a solo meditation program through the use of guided meditation and the practise of these meditative techniques.