Meditation Logs

Everyday Meditation Log

version 1.2,  10 Jan 2015

Intro

In order to help you form the habit of meditating, as well as self-reflect upon and grow from your meditation experience, you will be documenting your meditation for at least the duration of the course.

Habit formation

To form a habit, based on science it can take anywhere from 18
to 254 days to form a habit, averaging 66 days. It doesn’t seem to matter if you miss a day or two, but it does matter how many days you actually perform the activity, which seems to be around 50 repetitions, though we’ll consider it 60 for this course. So ideally by the end of this three month course, you will have meditated on at least 60 different days.

Everyday Meditation Certification Requirements

According to studies anywhere between 5 hours and 11 hours of meditation a month can change the strucutre of the brain for the better. For this course you will be doing at least 8 hours on average per month. Which translates to about 16 minutes a day.

Everyday Limits

It’s important not to overdo it, so putting a cap of 96 minutes a day (or max 48 minutes each), minimum 16 minutes (8 sitting meditation, 8 mindful activity) with an aim for 24 minutes (12 minutes each). If you meditate for 24 minutes on any 60 days during the program them you will reach the goal of 24 hours of meditation.

Even if you meditate the maximum amount each day and meet the 24 hour requirement early, you will still have to meditate on 60 seperate days, however the extra meditation you do, will be noted on your certificate.

If at the end the course you haven’t meditated enough days, as long as you’ve done at least a quarter (15 days), then that’s okay, you can get an extension of one and a half days for each meditation day you need to make up, (maximum 68 days) to complete your meditation log and recieve your certificate.

Mindful Activity

Mindful activity is when you are focused on only the current activity. The sitting practice can help with maintaining focus, during mindful activity that focus is applied.  Some examples are standing, walking, yoga, cleaning, cooking, reading, writing,art,  dancing, singing and computer programming.

For  physical activities you can simply focus on going through the motions, savouring each step, and muscle articulation. For passive mental activities, such as reading it is about focusing on being present, understanding and visualizing the contents of the text. For active or creative activities, such as writing, art and design, it is similar except when reaching “writer’s block”, at which point it is best to do some inspirational meditation, where you lightly hold the project in mind while meditating, and allow any pertinent ideas to arise out of your subconscious.

Disclaimer: as a beginner please avoid meditating while operating heavy machinery or power tools, even walking may be best limited to parks/home where there is no danger of waterways or motorways.

Filling the Log

The main goal of the log is to help you find patterns to improve your practice. There are various aspects to fill in, though the only mandatory ones are the date, durations and notes, the others are to help you.

For simplicity in creating and marking, If you meditate multiple times a day — which is good — then feel free to simply combine the informatin into a single log entry.  So that it is still fresh in your memory, it is best to fill in the log within 24 hours of doing the meditation.

Let us start with an example.

Example Entry

Here is an example log entry that is filled out:

Entry Number: 6 Date*: 27 Dec 2015
Sitting Practice
Time: 06:55 morning Place: Altar, Home
Duration*: 12min Cumulative*: 1hr 24min
Posture: semi-lotus Breath: deep,
victorious
Eyes: open Focus: breath, foot pressure, statue
Notes*: As soon as I sat down, I noticed a
pressure in my foot, so used it as a focus of my meditation.
After it subsided shifted focus to buddha statue on altar —
it was beautiful in the glow of the electric candlelight.
Mindful Activity
Time-of-day: 07:15 Place: living room, home
Duration*: 12min Cumulative*: 1hr 12min
Posture: standing, golden stance Breath: slow, victorious
Eyes: half-closed Focus: Legs, Posture, Breath
Notes*: The pressure in my feet evened out
with the standing. I felt myself swaying back and forth a little
and some discomfort so adjusted my posture accordingly. I
noticed some stray thoughts but went back to focusing on my legs,
which was my primary focus. At the conclusion I felt more firm
on my feet, stable and well grounded.
Day’s total*: 24min Grand Total*: 2hr 36min

* Fields with asterisk are mandatory, other fields are to help with improving meditative practice.
For instance you may find patterns such as that a certain combinations of meditative elements lead to different kinds of noted meditation experiences. That way you can more easily achieve the state you wish.

A basic recomendation is to have a sentence of notes for each 10
minutes of meditation or mindful activity.

Recommended Tools:

  • Wristwatch, clock or chronometer
  • Timer
  • Stopwatch

A good sports wristwatch should have all those in one.

The chronometer is to help you know what time you started meditating.
The timer is to help make sure you meet a minimum threshold for
your meditation, such as 8 minutes. The stopwatch is to help you
know how long exactly it is that you meditated for —  due to the time-dilation which can occur during meditation, stopwatch is bold which signifies its importance.

Submitting the Log

Please submit the log once a month or every 20 entries of logged meditation, whichever is soonest.

Log Template

Entry Number: 0 Date*:
Sitting Practice
Time: Place:
Duration*: Cumulative*:
Posture: Breath:
Eyes: Focus:
Notes*:
Mindful Activity
Time-of-day: Place:
Duration*: Cumulative*:
Posture: Breath:
Eyes: Focus:
Notes*:
Day’s total*: Grand Total*:

Web App

To simplify the process of writing logs, we now have a web app
http://qanim.sourceforge.net/mediapp.html

There is a post regarding it in the Meditation Logging Webapp blog post.

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