More driving, more Spanish talk radio. Love it. I still don't understand it much, but I am enjoying the music of the language, and being able to figure out a word or a phrase now or then.
I am an occasional meditator. I know it is good for all kinds of things, but I don't regularly make time for it, and it takes effort. But I do it, and all in all, I like it. It struck me that my experience of listening to Spanish radio was a lot like sitting down and meditating. That probably sounds bizarre, but read on.
When I first turn on the Spanish radio, I hear sounds, noise, no patterns and no individual words. I'm overwhelmed. My mind tries to focus on the language, but for the first minute or two, my mind wanders and I drift in and out. I work to chase away the distraction and focus on the words and the flow of the language, and I begin to pick out words I know, then ones I don't know, but can figure out. Then I am locked in and enjoying the ride.
Meditating - at least for me, is a lot like that. I sit down and focus on my breathing, but my brain quickly drifts to what I need to do for work, or who the Ducks are playing that week, or some other random thing. And I am failing, so I work to chase the random thoughts away and gradually, and haltingly, I get in the one and am one with the universe, or something like that. And the meditation does its work.
There was an interesting article that came out last week describing how just listening to a language is a very effective way to learn it. Here is the article. Listening to Learn a Language I would agree - but in my opinion, only if you can actively shut out everything else and connect with the language. Just say OM -in Spanish.