Less than you’d think. But more than I expected.
I mentioned in this space about 2 weeks ago that I was trying to learn how to meditate. And because I fully buy into the idea that there’s an app for that, I downloaded Headspace, a super-well-designed app for iOS and Android.
Headspace gamifies mediation by tracking your daily sessions along a whimsical-bordering-on-the-twee timeline, awarding badges for consecutive days of use, completing ten sessions, and other milestones.
Along the way, Headspace’s founder and instructor Andy Puddicombe shares insights on what meditation is (making space), what it is not (sitting silently and willfully blocking out the everything) with short animations. Then he talks you through a 10-minute session that follows a reassuringly consistent pattern.
So having just completed my 11th session, what’s the biggest thing I’ve noticed?
Strangely enough, I notice that my throat and jaw have relaxed. During the first few sessions as Headspace had me breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth, I noticed my throat was tight as I concentrated on doing it right, “it” being Meditation and “right” being “with a Dahli lama level of expertise.“
But as the app repeatedly stresses, meditation – especially in the beginning – isn’t a right/wrong proposition. Instead, learning to mediate is about becoming present in the space that already exists around you. A space which is sometimes noisy. Or buzzy with mosquitos. Or just your front steps, sweaty after a run.
So what happened on Day 10? Beyond getting a little graphic that reminded me that I’d spent a total of 100 minutes sitting still, actively NOT doing work, checking Facebook, reading a book, running, working, or grumping about a messy house? Nothing. Which is quite a lot, actually.