Thinking through yesterday's post, I realized I probably left a few points out. My reference to the Scientific American issue on meditation wasn't to imply that science somehow has the final word for me. But science is important to me, despite it often being dogmatic and hostile towards spirituality. The other day, I had a scientist ask me to persuade them of my abilities, to which my response was that I'm not a cult. Back in the days, this kind of request would've infuriated me, but now it's just amusing. To me science and spirituality aren't antagonists, but rather holistically allies. My personal approach is to have an open but critical mind, which is a bit oxymoronic, I know.
But this isn't really what I left out. I was going to recommend a meditation journal, to document impressions - whatever they might be. It doesn't have to be written down, drawing works just as well. The are no rules for how to express yourself - grab a box of crayons and go wild! Also, leave expectations for what a meditation should be at the door. My personal experience is that every session is different. Some days 30 minutes feels like an eternity and others I do twice that. There is no need to pressure yourself through a session. Yes, it's good to be disciplined, but there are days when you're simply not in the mood - and that's important to acknowledge. With that said, I generally think five minutes is too short for a meditation, so try to do at least 10 minutes initially. If you're going rogue - not guided, don't come down on yourself if you're unable to quiet down the mind. Depending on your day, the meditation can be used to sort those thoughts out in a tranquil environment. Or pray. It's a sacred moment, so savor it.