Find Some Quiet and Meditate Every 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 contemplation; or simply observing yourself breathing in and out.
- Sit and simply 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. 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 know immediately what it means — how it will limit us, what a person must be like, or what we now have to deal with.
Already “knowing” is a practical thing, but it can limit your experience of what the world is actually like. Have you ever met someone you were sure was going to be a jerk or a know-it-all, only to find out they were a real person, with depth, and far more complexity and value 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 richness and value these things might have for you.
The practice of meditation is a practice in finding out how much judgment you have. It’s not about emptying your mind, shutting off thoughts, or reaching some mythical state of bliss or nirvana. It’s a chance to see how much 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 — 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 that the real you can make your own call.