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Take a Moment to Meditate: Lifestyle Practice

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Meditate for 10 Minutes Each Day This Week

Simple Instructions:

  1. Find a quiet place to sit, free of outside distractions.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 or different 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 must now deal with.

Already “knowing” is a practical thing, but it can 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 later discover that he or she possessed far more positive qualities than your first impression allowed for?

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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. A value you might otherwise completely pass up.

The practice of meditation can be a practice in noticing 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, 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

In this week’s podcast, Andy spoke with Coby Kozlowski — a modern-day meditation guru (though she would never describe herself that way). Coby takes a modern approach to mindfulness that makes it far more do-able than what you might have tried in the past. For Cody’s advice on the mechanics of meditation for someone who is a beginner to the practice, click through to the podcast and jump to 20:50.

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Michael Stanwyck
Michael Stanwyck is the co-founder of The Whole Life Challenge, an idea that developed during his seven years as a coach and gym manager at CrossFit Los Angeles.

He graduated from UCLA with a BA in philosophy as well as a degree from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, and feels food is one of the most important parts of a life - it can nourish, heal, and bring people together.

Michael believes health and well-being are as much a state of mind as they are a state of the body, and when it comes to fitness, food, and life in general, he thinks slow is much better than fast (most of the time). Stopping regularly to examine things is the surest way to put down roots and grow.

He knows he will never be done with his own work, and believes the best thing you can do for your well-being starts with loving and working from what you’ve got right now.

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