Practice 10 Minutes of Meditation Each Day This Week
- Find a quiet place to sit, free of outside distractions.
- You may use any form of silent contemplation you are comfortable with. Some options: a meditation practice you already have; sitting quietly and observing your body, thoughts, and surroundings without judgment; silent prayer or contemplation; or simply observing yourself breathing in and out.
- Sit and be with the practice you choose for ten minutes.
Watch this video for an explanation of this Lifestyle Practice from Whole Life Challenge co-founders Andy Petranek and Michael Stanwyck.
Why Is This Practice Important?
We spend most of our time judging and evaluating, consciously or otherwise. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it leaves little room for anything to make a new impression on us. We see something and we immediately know all about it — how it will limit us, what a person must be like, or our presumption of what we’re about to experience.
Already “knowing” is a practical thing, but it can limit your experience of the world. Have you ever met someone and quickly made some not-very-generous assumptions about him or her, only to later discover that he or she possessed far more positive qualities than your first impression allowed for?
The practice of removing immediate judgment — of your body, your thoughts, other people, and your surroundings — leaves you open to discover the value these things might have for you. A value you might otherwise completely pass up.
Therefore, meditation can be a practice in noticing the quantity and quality of the judgment you have.
It’s not about emptying your mind, shutting off thoughts, or reaching some mythical state of nirvana. It’s a chance to see how many of your choices are being made unconsciously by a mind that thinks it already knows the “truth” of everything.
P.S. There is no “perfect” in meditation — the mind does what it does.
Meditation helps to separate your “you” mind from the “machine” mind that pumps out constant decisions. If you don’t see those “machine” mind things when you sit down, don’t worry, in time you will (the voice that just said “I don’t do that” is the machine I’m talking about, by the way).
If you see and hear a lot of machine-mind stuff, that’s a good thing, too — you’ll have material to work with. And don’t worry if your machine mind is loud. Your job isn’t to shut that down. Your job is to practice having the real you see and hear everything clearly so the real you can make your own call.
For More on This Practice
If you’ve never meditated or have avoided meditation because you didn’t what to do, then you need to get to know Lorin Roche, Andy’s podcast guest this week.
If you feel you could go further with meditation or aren’t sure you’re “getting it right,” then you, too, will find what Lorin has to say valuable.
From discovering that thinking about your to-do list is both natural and useful, to letting go of meditation dogma, there is something in this podcast for anyone with an interest in the benefits of meditation. Click here to listen.