- Find a quiet place to sit, free of outside distractions.
- Use any form of silent contemplation with which you are comfortable. Some options: sitting quietly in any position you are comfortable in and observing your body, thoughts, and surroundings while letting go of comments and judgments; 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 Well-Being Practice from Whole Life Challenge co-founders Andy Petranek and Michael Stanwyck.
Why Is This Practice Important?
We spend most of our mind-time judging and evaluating. While those are not always bad activities, they don’t leave room for anything to make a new impression on us.
We see something and we already know all about it — what it means, whether we like it or don’t, whether it’s “good” or “bad,” and how it will limit us or free us (remember, our responses are not always negative by nature).
Already “knowing” is practical, but it will limit your experience of the world. Have you ever met someone you were sure was going to be a jerk or a know-it-all, only to find they were a real person, with depth, and maybe even generous?
If so, you’re lucky.
Often we aren’t able to transcend what we think we know — and it can end up dictating what we see. The practice of letting go of our thoughts, beliefs, and judgment — of our body, our thoughts, other people, and our surroundings — leaves us open to discover the richness and value these things might hold.
The practice of meditation is a practice in noticing the commentary that’s not only running all the time, but that is making choices for you. It’s not about emptying your mind, shutting off thoughts, or reaching some mythical state of bliss.
Meditation is simply 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. Meditation is not about controlling your thoughts — your mind will always do what it does. Meditation helps to separate your “you” mind from the “machine” mind that pumps out constant thought. Don’t worry if your “machine” mind is loud; your job isn’t to figure out how to quiet it. Your job is to allow it to be. Declining to engage with your “machine” empowers you with the ability to direct your mind (and your life) where you want it to go.
For More on This Practice
Coby Kozlowski is a modern-day meditation and consciousness guru (though she would never describe herself that way). Her approach to meditation is so refreshingly different that it will leave you inspired to want to practice.
To learn more about Coby’s unique take on meditation, listen to her podcast discussion with WLC Co-founder Andy Petranek.