For last 3 years, I am sticking with breath-meditation. I focus my attention on breath. While breathing in, I focus on the sensation of air rushing past my nostrils, filling my lungs, my stomach bulging out a bit. Then I exhale through my mouth and I focus on the pressure of out-breath on my lips. I try not to think about anything else, but I do get distracted most of the days. When I realize that my attention has wandered, I bring the focus back to breath.
I use the calm.com website for tracking-time and daily-habit-streak ONLY. I do not listen to voice-guided-meditation/music/chanting any more.
I did get into turbulent times in last 3 years but that did not disturb my meditation streak. It is difficult to conclude whether meditation helped me or was the turbulence not turbulent enough. All my skepticism about meditation-effectiveness still remain. Inspite of the skepticism, I am still continuing with meditation due to following 4 reasons:
- Streak addict: My calm.com account shows an unbroken streak of 650+ days. I am addicted to this big number and loathe to bring it down to 0.
- Feels like game: I miserably fail to hold my attention to breath without a break. Till date I never had a single session without mind taking a stroll of its own. It makes me more determined to log my first day of zero-wandering-meditation.
- Pulse-rate-monitor: I am using a fitness band for last 6-7 months. Meditation invariably brings my pulse-rate down to 57-60 range. This is a solid proof as opposed to questionable mental/spiritual benefits. A drop in pulse-rate helps my body.
- Blogs/articles: Credible articles and blogs keep popping up regularly detailing benefits of meditation.