As meditations go, there's not much to tell. I sat, I settled and I waited. In the book, Sharon says to return to the breath any time you do get distracted, and that is exactly what I did. For this kind of meditation, you will often hear people use some variation on the "Mountain and Clouds" or the "Sky and Clouds". One that I have used often, and to great effect for me personally, is:
|"Breathing In, my mind is the great blue sky.|
Breathing Out, my thoughts are the clouds that pass by."
I am pleased to say that I wasn't too often distracted (probably because I've practiced this considerably) but I still found myself pursuing a random thought now and then. This is perfectly normal, and happens less with time. When I did, I simply took a moment and re-focused on the feeling of the breath entering my nose and exiting. Sharon gives really good, very simple and clear instruction on this in the book.
"We release a thought or a feeling not because we are afraid of it or because we can't bear to acknowledge it as a part of our experience, but because in this context, it is unnecessary. Right now we are practicing concentration, sustaining our attention on the breath." ~ Sharon Salzberg "Real Happiness"I did this for 20 minutes and it was, as it usually is, very calming and peaceful. The last 10 minutes of my 30 minute sit, I was more distracted. Or, not distracted so much by stray thoughts I followed, but more deliberately I started pondering specific thoughts. Intentionally, I guess. For me, sometimes, this happens in meditation where I will suddenly start pondering some thing, usually a problem I've not solved, and my mind will decide that the time is right to solve it.
So, for the last 10 minutes of my sit, I pondered a couple of issues on my mind. Rather than letting go of these, I decided to sort of let my mind do it's thing and work on these problems. Not really letting go of the thoughts, but rather sort of observing the solution taking place without interfering. It's rather hard to describe, but there ya go.
The bell rang, and I was somewhat energized from my sit. I ended up staying up later than planned as a result. Not a bad thing, just a thing.
How was your first week of the challenge?