When Lex turned three, we got to the point where we started asking ourselves when would be an appropriate time to start beating her. Of course we didn’t say it that way… but the nature of the conversation was clear to me.
I didn’t want to teach my daughter to accept physical intimidation from men – so I needed to find another way.
I’m glad I looked around.
Today’s conversation was with a physician that deals with life and death, daily.
The best book I’ve read on meditation is The Miracle of Mindfulness:
High performers will tend to overthink it – what works for me is sit comfortably and breathe – when I need to get centered then I count breaths… here’s the mantra…
1 breathing in, 1 breathing out
2 breathing in, 2 breathing out
3 breathing in, 3 breathing out
10 breathing in, 10 breathing out
I don’t go past 10 in one set. Then I chill a bit. Then I repeat another set of 10 breaths. It can be surprisingly difficult to get to 10 breaths without being distracted! That’s OK – start again.
The first step is learning to settle. That one aspect of mediation is enough. They tell me that there is more. I might get there, I might not.
Resist the urge to progress or go longer (this is very difficult).
After a few months of daily practice, you might find that you have the ability to focus on a topic and see more clearly. I’m only at this stage occasionally. What I’m mostly doing is learning not to hold onto situations, or seek to impose my desired outcome on a situation, or person.
If you are dealing with death, pain, anger, trauma… the first phase will help you release that, rather than retaining it inside to be released into your family.
In addition to your service as a physician, you do a great service to your community by releasing the suffering around you without transmitting it to others. I think that’s what eastern philosophy means when they refer to “burning karma.” Strong emotions have to be released, or we will transmit them as part of our legacy.
I read the first part when I started meditating and read the second part when I felt that I had a basic understanding of Phase One. I haven’t finished the book as I don’t think I know enough about meditation, yet, to understand part three and beyond.
Ten minutes a day, as many days as you can. Commit to 30 days. You’ll notice a difference. After the 30 days, you’ll notice a clear difference in mood if you skip a few days. I’ve started AM/PM sessions and it’s helping. Of course, dropping most sources of news (other than The Onion) might also be helping to clear my mind.
Mediation gave me an awareness that I was filling myself with noise that had nothing to do with the key decisions of my life.