It’s been a crazy-busy week of… well, “life” let’s say… especially for folks here in the US of A… but also, quite a bit of deep-dives this week.
As such, I’ve been spending a bit more time trying to practice the fine art (and science!) of meditation — some of you may already be
pros at this, so, if you are, please send me any resources, tips, and tricks that you have!
I’ll take them all.
Today I’m sharing a few notes from a recent class I took on meditation; hopefully you find it useful. Try to take a moment for yourself… even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes.
To infinity & community,
To be honest, the practice of meditation has been difficult for me — partly (most definitely) because of my fundamental “wiring” but also because I haven’t spent enough time actually practicing it to experience the benefits.
I’m trying to change that now by intentionally investing a few moments of precious time into it where and when I can. Consequently, I have tried my very best to distill hardcore meditative practices into their most-primitive workflows, thoughts, and behaviors.
For starters, one must answer this basic question: What is meditation?
Meditation, from a strictly behavioral perspective, is nothing more than intentionally focusing one’s attention and then monitoring the attention over a set amount of time.
One might focus on
breathing, which is the most common way to start, but you may also use objects such as candles or some other biological element. As you spend time intently focusing, you monitor where your mind wanders and make effort to return to the original point of focus when you discover the distraction.
This is, for many of us, extremely difficult to do, especially in difficult and trying times such as these. But, “practice makes better” and the benefits of even attempting a meditation session can have a profound impact on your mental and even physiological disposition.
The distractions that you might encounter could be:
- Discomfort in the body like your butt sitting on a uncomfortable chair for too long)
- External distractions like noise or light or smells
- Mental distractions, your mind drifting away from the focus, to-do lists, etc.
Becoming more aware of each of these types and knowing which ones influence and distract you the most is how we level-up our self-awareness and thus our ability to overcome them.
Let’s Practice, Together, Shall We?
One way to practice this is as follows — this doesn’t have to require more than 5-10 minutes of time:
- Sit comfortably in your chair, feet firmly planted on the ground, back straight, hands comfortable on the top of your knees or legs.
- Close your eyes (or keep them slightly open), and breathe normally.
- Pay attention to your breathing (and only your breathing!) as the intentional center of your focus.
- As your mind wanders and attempts to focus on other things, bring it back to your breathing, in and out, inhale and exhale.
- Do this for 5 minutes. Set a timer. That’s it.
This isn’t hard and it doesn’t even require that much time, but, I have found myself to be in a better mood, most times, when I perform this. I believe this has helped me be a better leader, manager, and even product designer… but, I don’t have quite enough data to know yet.
I want to be a “calm” leader and community builder — I don’t want to instill a sense anxiety or panic in those that I serve. I think becoming a leader who spends time in meditative practice (attempts) is one way of heading in this direction. Perhaps I can encourage you to do the same.
Love you all.