To do: Meditate for 15 minutes while focusing on breathing.
What I will need: Timer, yoga mat, a quiet mind, lots of patience
This was suggested by my dear friend, Nalini. She has been asking me to do this for a while now. The first time she asked me to do it, I remember telling her that 15 minutes was too long, that I would get bored. I told her that I would try it for five minutes to start with. And so, I did…for a couple of days and then...I stopped. Just like that. I have found it difficult to do ever since my school days when we had Yoga classes and a part of them were set aside for meditation. This day, however, I had to do it for 15 minutes because I had asked, and Nalini had suggested!
I spread my beautiful yoga mat, which has half of Buddha’s pleasant face on it. I set my timer to what I thought was fifteen minutes, and I sat myself on the mat.
During the time that I was meditating, my mind was all over the place. It started with the song. There is always a song running in my mind. Now, I could hear it even more clearly. The song was ‘The Story’ by Conan Gray. It is a beautiful song! I recommend you listen to it.
Anyway, I somehow managed, with much difficulty, to shut the song out of my mind. I thought if I inhaled and exhaled loudly, my mind would start to concentrate on it eventually. That did not happen. Instead, my mind began to concentrate on the neighbor’s TV, some kids laughing, the conversation my parents were having in the next room, and a lot of other things! Soon, I began to wonder if fifteen minutes had passed. It felt like it had been a long time since I was sitting with my eyes closed.
After curbing the temptation for what felt like forever, I finally opened my eyes to check on the timer. That is when I realized what I had done. Instead of setting my timer for 15 minutes, I had set it for 15 hours! The second 'M' I have not been good at since childhood: Math! So, the timer was going down from 15 00 00 instead of 00 15 00. I managed to do some Math, because it was the need of the hour, and realized that I had spent more than 15 minutes in “meditation”!
What have I learnt from this activity? Sitting in one place is not at all the problem. It is keeping your mind in one place that is the challenge! It seems like a simple thing to do but it is anything but simple. It is true what they say, “If you conquer your mind, you conquer the world.”
It does not look like I will be able to conquer the world anytime soon. It is extremely difficult to quiet my mind! I will, however, try to meditate more often.