I have been committed to meditating twice a day for 20 minutes since I learned how to meditate last February. I sit quietly with my own thoughts, my mantra and my little fluffy white dog. Unfortunately my dog doesn't always sit as quietly as he did that first day. I figure staying focused on my mantra, while my dog barks his head off every time he sees a bird fly by, is part of the practice.
The truth is meditation is hard.
It is difficult for someone like me to be quiet.
It is difficult for someone like me to sit still.
It is difficult for someone like me to find extra time in the day.
It is difficult for someone like me to be with my own thoughts.
When I told my sister the story about my first mediation training, she laughed so hard she cried. Something about me being so physically uncomfortable while sitting with myself for 20 minutes cracked her up.
A few weeks later, she asked me if I still liked meditation. I told her some days were better than others, but it was definitely interesting and worth exploring. So I gave her a TM meditation training as a gift.
She called me after the first session and said, "Something great is happening. I don't know what it is, or if it's real, but I want to thank you for this gift." We continued talking for over an hour and it was the first time in years that we were really talking. It was honest and emotional and funny and awesome. She said that she felt like someone had thrown her a lifeline.
I don't know how to qualify or quantify the benefits of practicing meditation. I just know that it has been transformative for my sister. In turn, that was transformative for me... and for our relationship. So I continue to meditate.