Headspace run streaks: constructing a meditation practice



No matter how we feel about the run streak– the figure in the Headspace app that acknowledges the number of days in a row we’ve practiced meditation– that number has something crucial to teach us.

Some individuals like this function, seeing it as a source of inspiration, a record of responsibility, and a badge of honor that shows their dedication in constructing a meditation practice. Others can’t stand it, seeing it as a source of stress and anxiety, a pointer of days missed out on, and an unmentioned judgment of their commitment, enthusiasm, or top priorities.

Given that both viewpoints exist, we can’t state the run streak is objectively great or bad. Rather, our technique to it, and our relationship with it, is what eventually specifies our experience.

Most individuals presume we developed the run streak as a method of gamifying meditation. But its origins have less to do with Silicon Valley and more to do with the Tibetan Himalayas.

The romantic variation of meditative training is typically depicted as one in which time is forgotten, regimens are deserted, and objectives are right away given up. Having trained as a monk, I can inform you firsthand that this is anything however the case.

The truth of that way of life is a dedication for a particular variety of years, and a day-to-day regimen set by the clock. We even had actually a repaired quantity of time to finish meditation workouts– a number to which we needed to devote. Within this context, we utilized the principle of run streaks all the time, however it was never ever about the number; it was a tool to assist us provide on our objective and instructions, guaranteeing we lost no time at all and worked towards a particular point, in a clear and stable method.

The Headspace run streak is, in numerous methods, an extension of that very same discipline, and this kind of structure can be exceptionally handy, developing a structure for momentum.

Of course, there’s some paradox, and substantial humor, in needing to develop a set structure to make it possible for the mind to be totally free; also with setting objectives when the objective is to reside in today, devoid of expectation. But as people, conditioned as we are, these things can be handy.

And so we return to the run streak. If we believe it has to do with the number itself, then we are missing out on the point. I’ve become aware of individuals sobbing when they accidentally miss out on a day and the run streak is disrupted. I’ve likewise become aware of others raging, even when they purposefully avoid a day, and understand they are at absolutely no when they next visit.

If we experience this level of accessory to the run streak, then it may simply be time to reframe our technique to it entirely. It might well be that we’ve unintentionally ended up being competitive in our meditation, whether with oneself or others. Or it may be that we’re utilizing it as a method to evaluate oneself or others. Either method, we are at danger of triggering ourselves unneeded tension.

This advises me of a message sent out in by a Headspace member a bit back. In numerous methods, it records the essence of the run streak completely. He stated he was approaching 1,500 days in a row however was stressed he was ending up being focused on the number. So he intentionally missed out on a day, resetting his run streak to absolutely no, and after that continued his method the next day.

Whilst I’m in no chance suggesting you drop your run streak like this, there is something intriguing in being so devoid of the number that we are prepared to surrender it at any time. There is something intriguing in comprehending that we lose none of the advantages of meditation when we lose the run streak. And there is something intriguing about being so at ease with it, that we have the ability to continue our journey in an intentional and deliberate method, even if we miss out on a day.

The point is to sit when we can, clear in our objective and instructions. Just like in the abbey, the run streak is a kind of support instead of judgment. The advantage of meditation does not originate from a number on the screen, neither does that number on the screen have the capability to evaluate us in any method.

As long as we are doing our finest, that’s all we require to understand. We all miss out on days, which’s fine. In truth, some individuals do not even wish to contemplate a day-to-day basis, which’s fine, too. The crucial thing is to understand when we have actually missed out on a prepared session and after that continue with the next, a little like observing when the mind has actually strayed prior to going back to the breath.

Simply put: if you discover the run streak handy and encouraging, accept it. If you discover it off-putting and frightening, do not pay it any attention. Most crucial of all, whichever method you lean, see the method you associate with it, acknowledging that our experience is eventually specified by our point of view.



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