Forty one years ago I'd reached a level of independence after leaving my parents home and city of birth to begin my second year at university. The degrees of freedom were almost boundless and despite the responsibility of studying for my Zoology major there was plenty of opportunity to satisfy my boundless youthful curiosity.
This included my first foray into meditation and began with an introductory Transcendental Meditation course that lasted several months. During particularly stressful times, despite years without any meditation, I found that returning to my TM practice, even for brief periods, helped restore some balance.
Despite this periodic relief I never fully understood how or why it might be good for me.
I'd read research convincing me that meditation was valuable but somehow it never really clicked for me in relation to TM and I used TM more like a treatment than a preventative lifestyle choice.
I had unanswered questions, mainly due to there being an excess of mysticism and fuzzy answers during my brief training, to what I thought were legitimate questions:
How did I know if I was progressing in meditation?
Was the pronunciation of my mantra correct?
Why was my meditation time filled with questions about my meditation?
What should I expect to experience?
What was the purpose of the process I'd been taught?
Three years ago I read a book called Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris. There was so much resonance in the title alone because that is how I often described myself, deeply spiritual or more accurately, deeply connected with nature but no interest in religion. This came from attending an Anglican high school, where chapel services, church organs and hymn singing were compulsory along with school on Saturday mornings, yet the relevance to my life obscured.
Roll forward to today and I've just passed the first subscription anniversary for Sam Harris' Meditation App that I have found both highly interesting, giving answers to many of my old questions, and hugely practical. It has been simultaneously mentally expanding and calming.
I consider myself to be a novice meditator. Many readers will be much more experienced and may not like a guided meditation practice. However, with an open mind, and because even very experienced people can benefit from experienced guidance, then maybe what follows is worth exploring.
But why take my word for it when you can click here to try it out for yourself for a month for free.This offer is freely available for everyone to share from within the App. I strongly recommend this because it simply make sense when considering mental hygiene, Sam asks: "Would you consider not brushing your teeth every day?" If not then why not give your mind the same support.
If you've already used Sam's App please comment below.