At work I get two 15 minute breaks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I usually just work right through them paying no attention to the time I could be devoting to other things instead of work. I get into ruts where I put my head down at 8am and pick it back up at 5pm and the whole time in between I’m engaged with something work related.
This can sometimes lead to irritation, aggravation, and this maddening buzzity restless feeling that sticks with me and starts to wear me down. If the weather is good and I’m in the mood for it I will take a jaunt around the campus which can help. Recently however I’ve been trying to find room in my life for meditation and it struck me that if I could find the right place, that I could get away for half an hour. I figure nobody would have a problem if I bound my two breaks up together and used it for something possibly good for me.
That’s exactly what I did this afternoon. Around 3:45 today I polished off the last of the tea I was drinking and grabbed my iPhone and found a little out-of-the-way place here where I could relax and meditate. I didn’t fall asleep, but I was able to get to that magical place. Each time I do it, it gets easier to reach it, each and every time. There are two apps that help keep me focused and keep me from running out of time. The first app I use to create natural sounds around me is called Naturespace and I went ahead and bought the “Entire Catalog” program option which unlocks all of their soundtracks. I especially prefer the track “Zen Wind and Water” as it features windchimes which I really like listening to. The program works with my earbuds to mask outside noises, so there is nothing to upset me while I’m trying to relax. The second app I use is Chronology and I set it for 30 minutes with a double-horn alarm at the end. When I prepare for my session I find a nice quiet place to sit, one that nobody is using and nobody would go looking for me in, and I start Naturespace and Chronology, get everything started and start to concentrate on my breathing. As usual when I’m coming down I can feel the relaxation hit my shoulders and neck first. As I’m trying to quiet my thinking my mind starts tossing stray noise at me to get me to do something else. At first it took a long time for that to quiet down, but after several sessions it doesn’t take that long and once I achieve my goal it’s as if my mind fits into a groove in my consciousness. The stray noisy thoughts are gone and they don’t bubble up. It feels almost like a physical ‘fwump’ as it clicks into place. I could try to bring in some noise but it doesn’t work. It’s just me and my breathing and nothing else. If I stay very still I can even slow my breathing down, I start to lose proprioception and unless I’ve got joints under stress I start to float away. It has nothing at all to do with falling asleep. There are no hypnic jerks, and there isn’t any loss of consciousness. I’m able to act if I must, but it’s quite nice just to exist in that state for a time.
When I hear the double-horn from Chronology I know that my 30 minutes are up. When I open my eyes and shift posture my proprioception snaps right back together but my mind retains this quality of serenity for a long while afterwards. I’ve found it’s easier to read and easier to concentrate afterwards, as if I’m still carrying crumbs of that meditative state around with me for hours afterwards. I still feel it even now, and it’s been about twenty minutes since I left that state. If nothing else, I feel much better afterwards than I did before. The maddening buzzity sensation is gone and I don’t feel quite as busy as I was just an hour ago.
If I notice any other differences, I’ll be sure to blog about them.