Sunday, July 16, 2017
Turning the Mind Into an Ally
I managed between September of last year and June of this to put together 280 consecutive days of either meditation, Tai Chi, or both. I tracked my data in an app called Insight Timer. It felt great, and helped me through some stressful times. But then the goal of extending my consecutive days streak became the point of meditation, rather than learning to control the mind and turn it to more disciplined pursuits. Once I saw that, I took an immediate break from data chasing and took a couple days off from meditation and Tai Chi. I wanted to re-set my goals for practice.
This short book is the right pick-me-up. I think I read about it in a review by Pema Chodron? It's really clear, unpretentious, easily relatable, clever...and practical. If you're considering starting a meditation practice, this would be a great foundation. If, on the other hand, you are hoping to deepen your practice or restart after stalling. you will find a great guide and mentor in Sakyong Mipham.
I want to add that Insight Timer in no way caused my obsession with mindfulness data--this is a realization I needed to make via work on myself, my motivations, my competitiveness, my manner of approaching goals. Insight Timer is useful in many ways, including reminder chimes, timers with a variety of bells and options, of course the ability to chart and track your data, and a journal/log. You can also link with others and see who meditated at the same time as you around the world (if that's your bag--these options are all optional).