I began my dedicated daily meditation (TM) practice in 2014. I meditate most days (at least 5 days/week). I don't always have time, but I try hard to make time for it everyday.

Sometimes I need a reminder of why it's so important.

The shift is subtle. Ask my wife and she'll tell you I'm a nicer person than I used to be. I'm a better listener and am less selfish. As more time passes, it continues to have a compounding positive effective my life. After a good mediation (yes I do definitely feel some are better than others), I often feel a heightened sense of love for others.

Sometimes, I slip and let myself become less regular in my practice and that's when I notice that I've become less skilled at daily living.

First off, the agitation and fidgety sense you feel while you meditate is the act of actually stress releasing from your body. The more restless you feel in meditation, the more you actually need it.

At times, you will likely experience intense bliss that is a perk of meditation. But often you won't. It may depend how much stress you need to release, how well rested you are, when you meditate, where you meditate, etc... no one really knows for sure.

There have been times when I experienced bliss regularly in my meditations. But those times are now few and far between and tend to come in cycles. But I also know that when the stress in my life is high, I need my daily meditation more than ever.

I realize that bliss means different things to different people. For me, bliss means total peace. But what really happens is difficult to put into words. Let me try to explain the experience.

First, my hands go numb. The numbness continues up my arms and fills to the the top of my head. It feels like a wave is cresting. If I get lucky, the feeling of that wave does crest and all at once there is complete silence. It's like when you put on noise cancelling headphones. But the silence extends to all my senses. There is a feeling of peace that I've never experience in my waking state, and it this is indeed a different state (in TM, they refer to is as 'the field')... If I had to compare it to another experience, I imagine this is what it felt like in the womb before I was thrust into the outside world.

Any sensations of pain or physical discomfort falls away (as I almost always have a little back pain whenever I set, and this completely dissipates when I enter this state). I feel very light. Euphoric. It's like the best high I've ever had (without any side effects!).

I'll admit it can be addictive but the problem is the more you strive to achieve it, the harder it is to obtain. The only way to understand why is that to enter this '4th state' requires that your mind relax completely. It requires you don't strive in anyway and let the mind naturally follow the mantra and settle.

I think the natural release option on your instant pot. You can't rush it and it often takes 15-20 mins to reach this state (if I even do). When I first started TM - for the first year or so, I commonly reached this blissful peaceful state. But 5 years later I am finding this very uncommon, perhaps only happening once every few months.

Meditation is like a shield to the illusion we call reality.

Dissolve into the stillness

When I attain a particularly blissful experience, I feel at one with all. What if what is really happening is that I become so still that I dissolve into the ether? I wonder if there are similarities to those who have experienced NDEs?

Waking Meditation?

What follows is just an idea, not a practice...

What if life itself was the mediation?

About 33 minutes into the interview, Jon Kabat-Zinn dives into this concept further...

It's about approaching life the same way you approach meditation, from the perspective of being an observer. It allows you to detach from what is happening to experience events more objectively... you become a witness and hopefully react with equanimity.

I've seen the benefits of meditation first hand. It's less about the meditation itself and more about the indirect benefits that result.

Remember, this is like physical fitness for the brain. To reduce the likelihood of brain issues later in life (dementia and Alzheimer's), meditation needs to be part of your daily routine!

The occasional deep bliss you fall into is icing on the cake.

I begin my day with a 20 minute meditation. Then every 30 minutes, I spend one minute checking in with my soul. I reflect on the past hour.

I ask these questions and then I meditate on the answers.

Q1. Is what I'm engaged in meeting my goals for the day, week, month?

Q2. Is there a more creative way I can accomplish this? How can I leverage others or past work (processes)?

  1. Are you logging your time in AuthorDock?
  2. Are you getting what you need? Do you need to be more assertive?

Be careful not to slip from assertive to asshole, but being unwilling to clarify demands and rules of engagement is letting the few take you away making a bigger impact on more.

In addition to meditating for 1 minute every 30, you can stop and check in (see Mark's STOP rule) when you feel like you are off-track or getting pulled towards a less mindful decision (i.e. Sugar).

Further Reading