Back in February my friend Natiea introduced me to the Waking Up app, and with it, Sam Harris. I had previously been introduced to Sam Harris in the same breath as a certain Jordan Peterson, who, at the time, I wanted nothing more to do with.
Over the next few month, Sam Harris and his well-designed app helped me to achieve a rudimentary meditation practice into my life. I found it very easy to start using, and to develop a routine. It also has enough interesting content to keep me engaged when I get bored with regular routine, as I inevitably do.
In particular, there was a series on Stoicism delivered by William Irving, which I found fascinating, and I followed up by buying and reading a couple of his books.
I was a proud of my new routine, but it wasn't actually anything impressive. I was doing about ten minutes a day, first thing in the morning. Once I had my forty days in (six days a week – I give myself a cheat day on the weekend) I decided it was time to level-up. My goal become an hour a day.
This kinda scared me a bit, to be honest. Ten minutes is easy, but I know myself, and that when life gets difficult, certain things are gonna slip.
By happenstance, when I was visiting a friend in Montreal I learned that an old acquaintance of mine is now a meditation coach. We got talking, and decided quickly that this was a perfect fit.
Once a week we meet in a 1:1 setting to discuss posture, approach, motivation, difficult emotions, challenges, and whatever else has come up. And on the weekends, he coordinates and leads an open group sit with a rotating crew of participants.
It's an ideal cadence, because it means if (when) I fall off the wagon, there are two accountability check-ins every week where I can reset on my practice.
What do I expect to get out of a meditation practice? I don't actually know. I suppose I just willing to trust the data: that a meditation practice is valuable in developing and maintaining a healthy clarity of mind.
I suppose it also has to do with wanting to be more intentional in my life, more present in my life – especially when the days just seem to be rushing by at breakneck speed.
I'm still not quite at an hour a day, but I'm close, at around 40 minutes. I bought a special buckwheat meditation cushion, and while I noticed some soreness in the first few weeks at a longer duration, I seem to be adjusting and acclimatizing.