Two months back, my friend Natiea suggested that I check out a meditation app created by Sam Harris. I had tried apps for meditation before. She asserted that this one was unlike the rest, and gave me a promo code so I could try the first month free.
It's called Waking Up, and it's good. It's on the "mindfulness" tip of guided meditation, but Sam also sprinkles in interesting information related to philosophy, history, and science in a separate area called "lessons".
The app contains two sections. "Practice" is the daily guided meditations, and it also contains a 28 day introductory course – about 10 minutes a day. "Theory" contains lessons and conversations with noteworthy guests.
I've modified my morning routine to account for this new meditation practice. I find that morning is the best time to guarantee I get it done every day. If I put it off until later in the day I just often don't have the willpower by the end of the day.
Last summer I had a revelation: the brain is a muscle, and to increase my willpower, I can intentionally practice following through on intentional actions. No matter how small, but consistently throughout the day.
Sam Harris uses a similar technique. He calls it "begin again" (or, "start again"). In the last minute of every guided meditation he asks the listener to begin the practice again – to reset awareness back to the field of consciousness itself .
When noticing that one is lost in thought, to use this thought, or distraction, to look for the person experiencing the thought. To bring the awareness back to the thinker. All things to be noticed only ever rise within the space of consciousness. And to be aware of the space of consciousness without being distracted by thoughts rushing about seems directly related to the presence that one feels in ones own life.
I'm enamoured with this new interoception tactic I'm using. As often as I can throughout the day, I take a beat to scan my body and mind, to notice all sensations, to let go of tension and to start again. I'm hoping that if I keep strengthening my morning practice, it will be easier for me throughout the day to come back to a sustaining point of presence.