Thursday, December 3, 2009

11 minutes

I always wondered why some yogis suggested doing certain activities for 11 minutes, or a minimum of 11 minutes or 11 minutes or longer. So I asked the question and apparently our brain cycles in 11 minute cycles. So I have been meditating for 11 minutes or more every day since October 26th (I missed a day because I was at a birth). Apparently the goal is to work up to 31 minutes. Then you can balance the various systems in the body. Starting with 11 minutes is because our mind cycles in 11 minute increments. I think that explains why you may have a thought and then about 11 minutes later have that same thought again... I am still working this one out.

The goal of mediation is not to block everything out or to push all thoughts down and repress them. Rather it is to quiet the mind. A similar feeling is if you have ever been driving and wonder how you got from a to b because you can't remember - then your mind was probably in a meditative state. The act of sitting in meditation is actively meditating rather than the passive mediation that happens when you are doing repetitive tasks like driving or reading.

I have been practicing the 11 minute minimum for almost a month and a half now and it is hard to tell what is going on. The minimum date limit to do these types of practices is 40 days. As I mentioned I had to miss a day because of a birth so I needed to start over again. In reality I am only a week and a half or so in. The point of the 40 days is to try to break up old habits. I am not exactly sure if that is happening yet but I am noticing some changes. The other difficulty is that with our training we are practicing ahimsa and satya and those practices as well are likely to change a person as well.

Some of the things I have noticed with my meditation practice are that it takes me less time to get into a meditative state, I am always surprised that it has been 11 minutes already (I have a timer), my back no longer hurts in mediation, my arms and legs rarely go numb anymore - although I am less aware of my limbs. I have less random thoughts running around in my head. The tasks that I am either given to do, or chose my self I start and finish. I am becoming much more calm with my children. With the exception of my daughter waking me in the night to nurse, I am sleeping more deeply. I am trying to become more aware of other changes but some of those are readily available and I am noticing them. This is kind of cool!!!

My challenge to anyone who may read this, today, tomorrow, next week, month or next year - try a 40 day mediation for a minimum of 11 minutes every day and let me know what happens.


1 comment:

  1. I'm in baby! Starting...maybe tonight. I'll let you know!