sitting in silence

Meditation has many different meanings and techniques, and it could take years of practice to find what works best for you.  After six years of practice, I now consider myself heavily meditated, and it’s better than any drug.

Transcendental Meditation

I started seriously meditating in 2017 after studying TM, transcendental meditation. The hope was that meditation would help with a chronic disease I had and help me deal with stress.  TM is a method of meditation that works with a mantra.  Mantras can be anything, but it’s best if it is a nonsensical word that will not have your brain trying to make meaning of it.  In the TM tradition, your mantra is given to you by your teacher, and you never share your mantra with anyone else.  During the two daily 20-minute practice sessions, you simply repeat the mantra over and over to help your mind dip into the unconscious realm.  For most people, this practice works very well; I didn’t find it so helpful.

Guided Meditations

During my TM days, I enjoyed using Insight Timer to track my progress.  This app introduced me to several other methods of meditation, including guided meditation.  Several years earlier, I had tried guided meditation through Dr. Joe Dispenza’s book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself.  As I am someone who likes quick results, I didn’t practice his meditations for an extended period of time because I thought they were too long.  Part of the “I want it now” mentality.  It is funny that I now do his meditations for hours a day.  Timing is everything.


Another form of meditation comes from the yogic community.  It includes chanting, prayer, and long periods of silence; no mantra, no guide.  I have yet to master this amount of mindfulness.  My brain chatter is still quite active.

The good news about meditation is there is no right or wrong way to do it.  If you manage to sit for 2 minutes in silence, count that as a success.  It is called a practice for a reason.