Many find meditation challenging, not because they have not understood the techniques they’ve chosen to adopt in their practice, but because self-directing one’s own practice adds more challenges than simply understanding, sitting with intention and mastering the technique itself through daily practice. The mind wants constant attention and will try just about everything to pull you out of your practice. When we self-direct our practice we might feel distracted from a number of things, to name a few:
1. The noise and movements of people and objects around us (i.e. the ticking clock);
2. The memories of the day just past (either positive, neutral or negative) and/or the things to remember for the day to come (i.e. errands and other to-dos); and
3. The sensations arising in our own bodies (i.e. discomfort from sitting, hunger, thirst, the temperature); and so on.
One thing that can be especially distracting is not knowing when to end your meditation sitting. There are many popular meditation APPs available for guided practices and setting goals, such as Head Space, Calm and Insight Timer that can used to address the challenges of self-directing. Alarms are not advisable as they are often quite abrupt and disturbing when they go off.
Using a timer or a set duration for a meditation is especially helpful for meditators to forget about the time altogether and commit entirely to the practice. These are also useful for teachers when guiding meditations in their classes.
This resource is a set of meditation music timers in mp3 format. The timers do not include guided meditations, try Breath-awareness: 7 Meditations for Cultivating Presence-centred Attention Meditation Course or any of the other Online Courses created by The Art of Integral Being.
They are intended to bring you into the practice, and provide you with a little peace of mind about the one thing most of us seem to worry too much about these days: time. The beautiful music helps to bring you into the present moment at the start and end of your meditation sitting. Adopt the meditation practices and techniques you feel most comfortable with, and select the timing you prefer (10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, 30-, 35-, 40- and 45-minutes). You could even gently increase the length as you deepen your practice.
Fade-in: Terry Oldfield Mountain Path from the album Yoga Harmony
Fade-out: Maneesh de Moor Moola Prayer from the album Om Deeksha
You can download all of these files together right here.