Last week's TMT post on discipline included the following:
"McGonigal even explains why meditating helps with self-control and
attention, something I've been hearing about for years, though no one
felt a need to explain why it would work. Meditating, it appears,
develops the prefrontal cortex, the portion of the brain that deals with
impulse control. Good impulse control helps people stay on task with
goals. Find meditation difficult because your mind keeps wandering and
you have to keep bringing it back to the breath? That's actually good,
according to McGonigal. The effort to do that develops the brain just as
physical effort develops muscles."
Later in the week, I happened to find an Aug., 2012 Yoga Journal open to Everybody's Meditating--Why Aren't You? somewhere in the house. I think on my desk, but I thought I'd been keeping it cleaner so I don't know how that could be. At any rate, this article related to a 28-day meditation training event similar to the Boost Your Willpower thing we all did this past January. (We did all do it, right?) Given what I'd just learned from reading The Willpower Instinct, this seemed as if the Universe was sending me a message. I find the Universe to usually be on the attack, but this is one of its more benign offerings, so I'm going to run with it.
So yesterday, I started using YJ's Meditation Invitation to try to develop the ol' prefrontal cortex, hoping to become more disciplined and less likely to give in to the impulse to go on-line and see what's happening with Angelina Jolie. It appears that you can still sign up for the daily e-mails at the Meditation Invitation site, even though the program is from last year, because I did this morning and received a response. However, you can also just follow the link to How To Sit to get to each week's videos and guided meditations.
Now, I'm feeling sort of goal-driven over this project, and I'm wondering if you're supposed to do that with meditation. So, we'll have to see how that goes.
Regarding the first week's guided meditation--If you have any experience with meditation at all, you might find it annoying to have someone chattering while you're trying to keep your mind on your breath. However, I'm a big believer in maintaining the mind of the beginner. We may find that the next few weeks' guidance will be different, and this intro week will make sense in relation to the others.
So I've had two days of meditation, each time a little under ten minutes. I wonder how things are going with my prefrontal cortex.