Morocco: and a tale of meditation and my favorite resources

It all started many years ago when I was living in Kathmandu.  That was when I met her.  Her head was shaved, her eyes were blue, she was Italian.  To  sum up, {some how} she was a Buddhist monk.  


Twice a week, I sat on the floor on cushions and learned how to meditate.  At the beginning, I couldn't even meditate for 30 seconds -- my mind careened madly around, like a mind that had one too many cocktails and was loud and brash and slightly out of control.  But gradually, under my monk's tutelage, my mind quieted.  Most importantly, I learned how to direct it better -- learned how to get it to focus, on something or sometimes, on almost nothing at all.


The benefits of meditation are scientifically proven.  This Harvard study shows that with 30 minutes of daily meditation, you can build density in your brain's hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory, and in structures associated with self-awareness and compassion.  Meditation also helps improve the immune system and energy levels, increases mental strength and focus, helps cognitive skills and creative thinking, and so much more.  

Over the years, I've returned to meditation, in times of insomnia, in times of stress, in times of overwhelm.  It's been helpful.  As part of my word of 2015, organize, I've come back to it again with daily aspirations.  Because to truly organize, one must start by organizing the mind. Yes?  

So my 2015 has included an Ayurveda yoga/meditation retreat (perfect for me, although primarily in German) and a silence Vispassana meditation retreat with 10 hours of meditation daily (not so right for me, and I found the silence sad).

But mostly I have found that meditation works as a habit of daily practice.  Sources that I like are the Tara Brach guided meditations and the great app, Headspace (You can try it 10 times for free.).  I also occasionally take digipills (a combination of hypnosis and guided meditation.)  

What about you?  Have you tried meditation?  If not, would you try it?