I’ve done it. 66 Days of Kirtan Kriya meditation.
I intended to study the practice during the 66 days and gain a deeper understanding of what it is and how it works. I didn’t do that. Instead, I spent time learning about neurochemistry, brain function, habits and practices for a balanced and happy life. Not wasted time by any means but not what I needed in order to make the most of the meditation practice.
As a result, I’m 66 days in and I’m glad it’s time to stop. Aside from the odd day here and there, I failed to develop any real meditative skill and often felt like I was forcing it. Despite that, the benefits seemed undeniable – at least at the start. I had increased focus and concentration and my memory improved. Until it stopped working.
What’s really interesting is that while I was fully invested in it and believed it would work, I kept seeing progressively better results. But about half way in, the novelty had worn off and I started going through the motions for no other reason than because I had committed to 66 days. I waited for something to take hold again but it never did and I suspect I’d have had to work a lot harder to re-ignite the spark. From that point, the meditation felt like a nice way to start the day but it made little difference to how the day unfolded, how well I managed my mood and how easily I recovered from negative emotions such as anger or frustration. It seemed to make no difference to my thinking, habits or performance during the day.
This may have something to do with my lack of skill and perhaps it’s necessary to learn the practice of Kirtan Kriya more thoroughly before expecting it to make a significant enough difference to have an impact in other areas of life. Then again, it seems to me that a meditative practice requiring study in order to be effective is probably not the most useful starting point for a beginner practicing alone.
As an serial over-thinker, I’m wondering whether a practice more firmly rooted in the body is a better way to ‘hack’ my mind. For reasons I’ll share with you in later blog posts, I’ve decided to experiment with Wim Hof’s breathing technique and cold therapy for 66 days, starting tomorrow.
What practices have you found most effective for helping you take charge of your mind, body and habits?