What Happened When I Meditated Every Day for a Month

When I decided to become a yoga teacher, I had two options: I could enroll in a 6-month long session in which I studied on weekends only, or I could throw myself into an immersive training session from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for an entire month. For me, it wasn’t difficult to choose: I love a good yoga retreat, and respond well to intense changes in my schedule. I figured the immersive month-long program would be the best way for me to really focus on my yoga practice.

What I didn’t know before signing up, however, was that we’d be starting every single day with 30 minutes of silent meditation — a practice we had to commit to doing even on the weekends when our training wasn’t in session. For a beginner meditator, that was no easy task! Sitting in silence attempting to keep my mind clear was difficult even for FIVE minutes. But I learned a lot by throwing myself into 30 minutes of daily meditation for a month straight. Here’s what the experience was like.

Days 1-5: Discomfort

The first five days of the month were…uncomfortable. Literally. It was very difficult to sit on a wood floor all day long (our session took place in an empty yoga studio). Even when we weren’t meditating, my fellow yogis and I had to make do without furniture. Attempting to sit still in a cross-legged position for 30 minutes was extremely challenging, and there were more than a few times when I thought I physically couldn’t go on.

Days 6-15: Begrudging Surrender

By the end of the first week, I began to surrender to the unavoidable 30 minutes of meditation. I had an a-ha moment at one point around day 7 when I realized that there was nothing I could do about the remaining time, so I might as well be immersed in the moment (instead of thinking about when time would be up!). This surrender was, essentially, an acceptance of the present moment. I began to feel more comfortable in my seated position, and was better able to focus for small stretches of time on keeping my mind completely clear.

Days 15-20: Feeling Like an Expert

By the halfway point in the month, I was starting to feel like a meditation expert! I’d learned to gracefully accept any discomfort without attempting to change it. I meditated on my discomfort, accepting it and reminding myself that it was neither good nor bad: It simply WAS. This attitude also helped me become an observer of my own thoughts. I noticed when the thoughts passed through my mind, and I let them travel through to the other side, remaining conscious all of the while. I was definitely getting the hang of things!

Days 20-25: Backslide

As all regular meditators know, the moment you feel like an expert, you’re probably right around the corner from a complete backslide. At this point, I’d been practicing yoga and sitting on a hardwood floor every day for nearly a month. My muscles ached. My joints needed a break. My mind was tired of Buddhist philosophy and studies of physical anatomy. I began having a difficult time keeping my mind still. It was a humbling experience: I knew now that meditation was going to be a constant journey.

Days 25-30: Acceptance

By the end of my teacher training, I arrived at a place where I knew I wasn’t an expert in meditation, but I was okay with that. I was okay with the fact that my meditation (and yoga) practice wasn’t perfect. I had good days, and I had bad days.

Even today, just over a year after my teacher training, I still mediate regularly. I still have good days and bad days. I have good stretches of time (stretches during which I meditate every day for three weeks) and I have not-as-meditative sessions of time, where I avoid the practice for days on end.

Meditation has made me more accepting of my circumstances, my discomfort and life itself. It’s an ongoing practice that is never perfect. But that’s what meditating every day for a month ultimately taught me: That nothing is perfect, and that’s not a bad thing.

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57 comments

danii p
danii pabout a month ago

thanks for sharing

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danii p
danii pabout a month ago

thanks for sharing

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danii p
danii pabout a month ago

Thank you

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danii p
danii pabout a month ago

Thank you

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Brad Schultz
Brad Schultz1 months ago

Good intro and overview of the beginning meditative experience! I have found meditation can be a powerfully active force in my life for greater balance, harmony and effectiveness in daily matters, including anxiety and depression. This includes moving meditation like Tai Chi that gets the whole being involved, not just the mind. The Eastern arts offer us a healthy alternative to dealing with stress, daily pressures and a way to stay naturally balanced and healthy for higher quality living and healing. I have found some useful tips and techniques from the eastern internal arts here: https://abundantpeace_b0cb.gr8.com/

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danii p
danii p1 months ago

Thank you

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danii p
danii p1 months ago

Thank you

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danii p
danii p1 months ago

Thank you

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Melanie St. Germaine

Wow, thank you for posting!

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Leo C
Leo Custer1 months ago

Thank you for posting!

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