The new issue of Esquire magazine has an article in it on the benefits of meditation. I'm sure those of you who practice this on a daily basis are nodding in approval right now. The article had several bits of information on how just a short ten minutes of meditation a day could do wonders for your health, and your general attitude about life. I was reading the new issue of Esquire on my iPad, because I have a digital subscription to it.
Don't get me wrong, I love traditional print media, and I've had an Esquire subscription for years. However, when I didn't subscribe to the magazine for a year or so, and was thinking of taking it up again, the techy in me liked the digital one too much (not to mention I don't have to worry about taking magazines to be recycled, as I horde those damn things like someone with two or three dead cats hidden in my house).
The digital version of the magazine has some nice features, like adding video, music, and audio clips with interviews. Yet, it still manages to maintain the feel of a magazine, it's rather impressive. Point of all this is that the meditation article had a feature at the bottom of it for us digital readers. The group of meditation experts that Esquire teamed up with three audio features that would help you get into the practice of mediation for three different activities. The three in question being sleep, nature, and running.
Now it's no secret that I sometimes have trouble sleeping at night, so I thought I'd give the sleep one a try. I press the play button on the box marked “sleep” and a very pleasant, and calming, British voice began speaking to me. “Sometimes, when your head hits the pillow, your mind becomes full of thoughts. This will help you to just relax and settle in a natural and very restful sleep.” Alright, no problem with that! I'm game! The voice told me that before we began, I should make sure I've done everything I need to have done before going to bed. I paused it, and went around the house making sure everything was in order.
In the process, my iPad went into lock mode, where the screen turns off after a short while. So I unlocked the iPad and hit the play button on “sleep” again. I thought it would pick up from where I left off. It didn't. I was OK with this, as I had barely begun when the calm British voice told me to make sure everything was done. The voice resumed, told me to make sure I was snug in bed, and relaxed. “Just lie there for twenty to thirty seconds, and appreciate how good the bed feels”. The bed felt great.
As I settled down, I began to feel very relaxed. The lights were out, outside of the glow coming from my iPad on the nightstand. The voice then said “I want you to, slowly, replay the events of the day in your mind. Almost as if you were rewinding them.” After this replay of the day moment, the voice then asked me to start letting my body relax, “As if you're moving from muscle to muscle, and turning it off.” The voice told me to begin with my left side, and as I made it to my navel, I was starting to feel most relaxed on one side.
As I laid there, half of my body feeling great, I kept waiting for the voice to tell me what to do next. It never did. I opened my eyes, and tilted my head towards the nightstand, to discover that my iPad's sleep/power save/lock mode kicked in and the iPad was “off”. I turned the iPad back on, and hit play on the sleep meditation again. Only, it didn't pause, so it started right back at the beginning. So I went through it all again.
This time, however, once we got to my left leg being relaxed, the iPad shut off again. At this point, I was becoming slightly frustrated. I realized the idea of meditation is to zen you out and make you clam and relaxed, so I began to question if I was doing it wrong that I was feeling annoyed by a simple thing like power save on my iPad. I thought of trying it again, but I knew that the only way to keep my iPad from turning off in the middle of the meditation was to either A: turn off power mode and have a dead iPad in the morning, or B: have someone stand by my bed and tap the iPad's screen from time to time.
Neither of those was that decent of a solution, so I put my iPad away, turned on TCM, and fell asleep to a Humphrey Bogart movie. This is where my TV's sleep shut off mode came in handy. I do hope to actually try the meditation feature out again at some point. Because after getting flustered over a sleep meditation speech on an iPad, I feel I may dearly need it.