Does Meditation Work?
I’ve been fortunate to dedicate nearly 5,000 minutes with the intention to operate from a place of love and kindness across my year of sessions. The mark of a year seems a good time to explore the question, “Does meditation work for me?”
Does Meditation Work?
For me: yes.
Benefits of Meditation
Currently I’m committed to a 10- to 15-minute practice in the morning with interspersed mindfulness exercises throughout the day. For instance, while standing in line at the grocery I might visualize a ball of light shifting up and down my body’s energy centers. When I arrive early for meetings, I sometimes imagine myself or the folks who are due to arrive being filled up with a warmth and light that softens their edges. When I find myself in a beam of sunlight, then I often stand in a mountain pose inviting all the luminous qualities into my body and my mind. And when I notice fear has replaced love as my operating fuel, then I try to focus on my breath–counting at least one in and one out.
This daily meditation practice has already begun to positively impact my life, and I suspect the benefits of meditation to grow along with my practice. Thus far this is what I’ve noticed most:
Spontaneity & Fun
I’ve felt open to and have said yes to more spontaneous ideas and events. Perhaps this will spawn a practice of being the initiator of more spontaneous things. I’ve also felt like I’ve been more and I’ve had more fun.
I’ve been more decisive. For example, I’ve cut in half the amount of time I stand in front of my closet in the morning (though my capsule wardrobe was my pathway to that behavior). When choosing a meal in a restaurant, I’ve begun to hear and follow my gut so I’m no longer the last to put down the menu. I trust these personal triumphs will soon spill into work wins.
In the midst of a few overwhelming moments I’ve felt like an observer of the situation rather than being personally sunk deeply into the turmoil without perspective. As an example, in the height of chaos on a project when a colleague suggested we push to the end rather than call it quits, I imagined myself on a covered porch watching a raging thunderstorm roll in. I was dry. I was calm. I sat with watchful wonderment like I used to in my youth in front of the big bay window in our living room. I suspect the minutes I spend in observation will stretch to cover a greater percentage of my days over time.
This reflection makes me eager for the decades of practice I hope to endeavor.
How about you? Does meditation work for you? How do you practice mindfulness at work?
P.S. Thanks to Louwrents via Wikimedia Commons for the image.