While progressing through brain training, taking nootropics, learning new mind-enhancing skills, I find that a lot of my neurohacking exploration has been dipping into my quiet, mindful times, and lately I'm doing shorter meditations (20 min vs 45+ min). It’s essential to keep life in balance as much as possible, and I felt as though my meditation has not been as deep as it has been due to the many distractions of life and less time focused on my core practice. In need of a meditation reboot, and some time spent in quiet mindfulness and slowing down my daily activities such as eating. An old Zen proverb says something along the lines of "if you don't have 20 minutes to meditate a day, you need an hour". I need to get my mediocre 20 minutes back up to an hour (without striving, ha).
This weekend I went off for some quality time of mindful activities including hiking and the beach, lots of meditation, and slowing down to savor every moment including slow dining, leisurely time soothed in the hot tub and detoxed in the sauna.
The first day I got disconnected from work, home, tasks, responsibilities, and weaning myself off of my cell phone, walked on the nearby beach, and had two very pleasant meditations, one early, one late. By day two, a group meditation, deep conversations, hiking, personal meditation, healthful eating, and mindful strolls made for a perfect day. By day three, all day mindfulness, meditative walks amongst the redwoods, and long meditations became my new normal. On day four, I was fully immersed and connected deeper with myself and others. My meditation was deeper, longer, and each moment felt meditative. Before the short meditation retreat, I was often struggling with my 30 minute meditations, but since the trip, I regained the ability to meditate for 2 hours solidly, if desired.
Since the meditation excursion, my mind has been more still, more focused, and my baseline breathing has been more slow and tranquil. I had a lot to get done after my little getaway, but I plunged easily through it all and did some additional items that were not even on my agenda. My creative juices have been flowing, and all this flow enabled me to launch a new small project that was on the back burner.
Sometimes, one may need to put cognitive training on the sidelines just long enough to get mindful and meditative, and thereby make the mind better and more flexible for new training.