Hi, I am a graduate student in my first year of PhD. I am married. But I am living away from my husband since I had to start school. This is my first time living all by myself. It is both exciting and stressful at times. I have joined the 21 day meditation challenge and it has been 13 days since I started meditating. Although I feel calm while I meditate, I keep getting disturbed by continuous thoughts about events and discussions with various people I have had in the past and every day. Like you mention in your audio, I do try to focus on the mantra, but it has not been possible until today.
Also, since I started grad school, I have trouble sleeping peacefully because I tend to stay up late and since I always have a lot of work to do, my mind keeps thinking about deadlines to meet and assignments to complete even if I lay down in bed and try to sleep. So when I wake up the next day, I feel tired. What would you suggest to have a better relaxed experience while I meditate and to help me get a good night's sleep?
When you are meditating and you mind drifts off on other thoughts, don’t think that you are failing at meditation. Thoughts are a natural part of the meditation process and they indicate that you are ready for another cycle of the mind moving inward. Once you realize you are no longer thinking the mantra, gently and easily return to it.
For getting a better night’s sleep, instead of working late at night, go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier to finish whatever work you need to do. Also, make sure you eat dinner early. To calm down some of your emotional stress in being away from your husband, you may want to call him in the evening before you go to be to feel more connected and reassured before you retire.