The Daily Meditation Experiment

Daily Meditation Experiment

The Experiment:

Every week, I will practice one type of meditation (listed in my Meditation Crash Course, which is currently in development) every day for 20 minutes.

I will track my progress using Momentum, and report back here weekly on how I practiced the previous week’s meditation & what my thoughts/feelings are on it.

Why

It seems like nearly every single person I admire meditates. Tim Ferriss, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Neil Strauss, Rick Rubin, Steve Jobs, Jerry Seinfeld, Colin Wright, Tynan, Eben Pagan, Sebastian Marshall, Josh Waitzkin…the list goes on. And they all espouse the benefits that meditation has brought to their life.

When enough people you admire all say the same thing, it’s wise to listen. So I’m trying meditation out for myself.

The Hypothesis

I’ve already been loosely doing meditation for a month now. I haven’t followed any specific type or structure but have instead just played around with the habit of meditating every day. Sometimes I’d do a century count I learned while practicing becoming Multi-Orgasmic (I’ll get back to that), sometimes I’d seek simply to understand strong emotions I was feeling, sometimes I listen to a song completely, sometimes I’d try to sit and focus on not focusing on anything.

Just by doing this, I’ve seen some impressive results. I’ve gotten perspective on a lot of seemingly huge emotional problems, had entire days where I was calm simply because I had meditated, and discovered how hard it is to quiet the mind and not be taken over my thoughts or emotions.

I expect:

  • My ability to have sangfroid or apatheia to be vastly improved. More calm, more in control of my emotions, less stressed.
  • Drastic increase in my ability to focus 100% on the moment & what I have devoted it to.
  • Perhaps some form of spiritual experience.

There’s also, of course, the host of scientifically proven benefits. But the majority of those are only proven with experienced meditators who have been at it for years.

Experiment Journal Entries / Experiment Data

Pre-Experiment

  • Increased & lasting calm.
  • Reminded that everything will be okay.
  • Big problems made not so big. Solutions created.
  • Almost always feel better after meditating than I did before.
  • Learned that quieting the mind is difficult.

Week 1: Mindfulness (Vipassana)

  • Slightly increased ability to notice my emotions and calm them.
  • Feeling of relaxation and centeredness after meditation. A clearer focus on what matters. Lasts from 1 minute to multiple hours.
  • Slightly increased consciousness of the meaninglessness of most of my thoughts.
  • Slightly increased ability to stoically do what I have devoted a given time to, even if it is not enjoyable.

A week is definitely not enough time to get significant benefits from mindfulness meditation. It clearly requires serious discipline & dedication over a good amount of time.

I can see the benefits to focus and self-control here to be potentially huge. I’m quite sure I’ll come back to mindfulness as part of my regular practice after the Meditation Experiment is over.

Week 2: Loving Kindness (Metta)

  • Slightly increased empathy.
  • Decreased anger.

Loving kindness meditation definitely isn’t for me. I found it boring and without much benefit.

I can see how it can be useful in gaining empathy and calming anger. But these improvements are not priorities in my life, and I the meditation style seems to lack any benefits besides that.

Week 3: The Flame & The Void

  • Drastically increased ability to tolerate discomfort, both physical & emotional.
  • Ability to almost instinctually begin meditating whenever I find myself in an uncomfortable situation.
  • Ability to have near complete focus on the moment & what I have devoted it to when I use The Flame & The Void while doing anything.
  • Increased ability to clear my mind.
  • Increased ability to stoically do what I have devoted a given time to, even if it is not enjoyable.
  • I become more emotionally ‘cold’ when I am using The Flame & The Void.

I’ve gotta say, I really didn’t expect The Flame and The Void to be so impactful. I only tried it out because I’m reading The Wheel of Time novels and thought it would be interesting. Lo and behold, it’s the most effective and easy to learn meditation style yet.

As a beginner in meditation, I would recommend this to any other beginners as an ideal place to learn how to clear your mind and use meditation in day to day life.

Week 4: “I Am” Meditation

  • Increased confidence in myself and my ability to do what I most deeply desire to do.
  • A higher familiarity with this wordless feeling of who I am and what is important to me.

This seems like a strange middleman-esque meditation without much value to it.

While I did, at times, get some clarity and a powerful feeling of who I am, it was not something I am unable to get elsewhere.

That said, this may be very subjective. I write out my life-goals daily, and review them intensely every week. Which works to keep my quite in touch with who I am and am focused on becoming.

If someone was in a place where they are seeking ‘find themselves’ I Am meditation may help to do just that.

“Week” 5: Walking Meditation

  • Deeply enjoyed exploring new places, and was able to see parts of them I would normally not see with a relaxed and exploratory mindset I would normally not have.
  • Was able to work out many mental roadblocks and intense emotions.
  • Was able to relax and just think and philosophize.
  • A significantly greater appreciation for the beauty in the details of places.

This is an absolutely excellent meditation style to engage in for anywhere from half an hour to a whole day when you’re somewhere new and interesting.

However, it has few lasting effects if it is simply done every single day in the same place.

 

Upcoming

The Results

In process

Final Statement

In process

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