I recently tried something new in meditation. Usually in meditation you focus your attention on your breath, or some variation on that. I decided to focus on the continuous sound of the air conditioner. It’s constant, and outside of me, I had no control over it, so I liked it. It worked well for me.
What I tried was the topic of the post I published three days ago: Don’t Let Failure Stop You. In it, I talked about how not letting failure stop you is the best way towards success. I brought that idea into the meditation, and thought of it this way: Success means sustained attention on the sound of the air conditioner, and failure means my attention moved away. So I thought to myself: Don’t let failure stop you.
Usually when I meditate like this, when my attention moves away from the object of meditation, I feel hurt, I feel like a failure, I feel weak, like I can’t do anything. I put all this pressure on myself. I had no idea I was always doing that. This time, instead, I didn’t let failure stop me from aiming at the goal. When my attention moves away, I don’t care that it moved away, I just continue with my intention to point my attention to the sound. Whether the attention stays on it or not varies. My goal isn’t to maintain my attention on the sound, it is to set the force of will to aim my attention at the sound. It is not the outcome that’s the goal, it is the intention, and the exercise of the intention.
This worked like magic for me. It was incredible. All of a sudden I started feeling various physical tensions going away, as I let my attention move away from them. It was fascinating to observe.
I strongly recommend you try adopting this attitude of Don’t Let Failure Stop You in your meditation, and see how it works.