I never get into a set schedule of meditation. After a few days I don't try again for at least a year. Maybe it's because it bores me.
Instead I feel more in contact with the present moment when I go for a walk or just sit outside in my backyard. When I work on a hobby or project I feel alive. Just paying attention to where I am and the present moment helps.
My brother emailed me the link for an article about this subject. I think the authors are trying to sell a book but the article is good. I'm not buying the book.
Link: What mindfulness gurus won’t tell you: meditation has a dark side | Spectator Health
"There are many unanswered questions about the effects of meditation. Mindfulness, in particular, is portrayed as a universal ability to be ‘in the here and now’ — how can you not want that for yourself? Well, the bad news is that it doesn’t work for everyone.
But this isn’t necessarily bad. For one, there are many ways of ‘being present’ — meditation is just one of them. There are plenty of other activities that we can do for a sense of increased awareness and to feel ‘in the moment’ (and which may also help to reduce stress and improve mood), such as walking, swimming, talking to a friend, singing, dancing. The list is endless."
Here's a section about how meditation can be harmful for some people. (I'm not sure if it actually happened.):
"One of the most poignant accounts came from a journalist who interviewed us. She had been on a weekend meditation retreat with a friend who had a history of suffering from depression. Coming out of the retreat, they walked together to the railway station and, unexpectedly, this friend jumped on to the rail tracks as a train was speeding by."
I'm happy if it works for other people but it just does not work for me. Here's a quote by a spiritual leader:
Do we need to make a special effort to enjoy the blue sky? Do we have to practice to be able to enjoy it? No, we just enjoy it.
Each second, each minute of our lives can be like this. Wherever we are, any time, we have the capacity to enjoy the sunshine, the presence of each other, even the sensation of our breathing.
We don’t need to go to China to enjoy the blue sky. We don’t have to travel into the future to enjoy our breathing.
We can be in touch with these things right now.
~Thich Nhat Hanh
A child walks with its mother.
It sees an oily rainbow
On the road, a leaf, veined
And dappled, on the path,
A puddle full of clouds,
A smiling dog, a cat
That needs to be stroked,
A builder’s van all a-rattle,
A gentle robin.
What did you see?