27/02/2023 by Dave Robson 0 Comments
Meditation? I'm far too busy!
It may sound strange, but meditating will almost certainly help you save time because you will concentrate more easily and operate more efficiently.
Meditation? I'm far too busy!
Lots of people ask me to describe my simple meditation technique that we practice as a group every Wednesday morning via Zoom. It’s powerful, it’s effective, it’s as simple as falling off a log (although there is a knack to it), it’s free, and you can join us. Details later.
You can do it on your own, you can do it in a group, you can do it in your hotel room, on an airplane, a train, in a taxi or even on a boat. In short you can do it more or less anywhere where you won’t be disturbed. Meditation is a wonderful gift, a powerful tool for transformation and I cannot understand why everybody doesn’t use it. Here follows a simple outline:
There are lots and lots of methods of meditation. I have tried many of thm and all I've done is to cherry pick the best bits – the bits that work - and put them together. This is not rocket science and I make no claims whatsoever for originality, but if you stick with it and do it regularly, the benefits are legion. Many teachers, in my opinion, make it unnecessarily complicated.
Now before you say, “I’m too busy”, let me tell you, “no you are not”. The vast majority of meditators find that a fifteen or thirty minute meditation first thing in the morning amply repays itself in terms of time saved later because the day seems to go better. You will almost certainly get more things right first time because you can focus and concentrate more easily and you will function more effectively. So the net result is that meditation is a time saving investment. Actually, many people tell me that with our hectic lifestyle, meditation is the only way they can maintain a healthy and efficient mental balance.
When first I started meditation way back in the sixties, I was told to still my mind. So of course I was doomed to failure from the start. It wasn’t long before I realised that people brought up and educated in the Western world find it virtually impossible to still their minds to order. This is because we are educated for maximum mental stimulation, which leads us into intense mental over-activity. Our minds are full of chatter and have virtually taken us over such that we have become their slaves. So my first point is, traditional meditation may be too difficult. With my method of meditation, it is very important to make no effort whatsoever to still the mind. Indeed it’s very important to make no effort at all to do anything except watch silently.
Many times I am asked, “should I watch my breath, stare at a candle with eyes softly focused, intone a mantra, listen to music, or anything like that?”
It’s entirely up to you. I can only say what works for me and the majority of my clients. I find that watching or counting my breath, as in Vipassana meditation, is hard to maintain for more than about 20 seconds. As for candles and music, I find these unnecessary distractions. I much prefer complete silence, and there are very good reasons this.
It's key to find a comfortable sitting position, on a chair, on the floor, on a cusion - whatever works for you, but in such a way that you are alert but not tense. This might need some experimentation. The meditation does not seem to work so well when lying down or reclining.
By the way, if you are at all religious, there should be no conflict between your religion and meditation because meditation has nothing to do with religion.
You can follow my simple meditation technique as much or as little as you like – even five minutes twice a week is better than nothing. About half an hour every day seems to be ideal. Most people choose to meditate first thing in the morning, but that isn’t essential.
Find a warm, quiet place. The important thing is to ensure you are not disturbed so turn off your mobile, switch on your answer machine and display your ‘do not disturb’ sign. Sit as described earlier and close your eyes. Sit in silence for the time you have allocated.
During your meditation many thoughts will come into your head. The trick is not to try to stop those thoughts, judge them, suppress them, engage with them or in any way control them. Instead allow them and simply observe them objectively as if they were someone else’s. Become detached, become the witness, and allow your thoughts to come and go at will. Wait to see what happens in the fullness of time without trying to control the outcome.
Remember, do not try to still the mind. Just be the witness and eventually, if you keep doing this every day or whenever you can, moments of stillness will occur. At first it may be for only a second or two, but that glimpse could be just enough, if you are alert and aware, to begin a transformation.
I favour silence and no candles etc. because the mere idea of being able to switch off from the incessant chatter of the mind, media and non-stop input from the world for however long is so restful, relaxing and de-stressing that it feels like a really luxurious treat to look forward to. The bliss of not having to do anything or respond to anything is such a gift, I have learned to love the silence and the darkness. It refreshes me more than even Mozart can do, and that’s saying something.
If that sounds good to you, why not give it a try right now and remember, don’t interfere - allow whatever thoughts arise and be the witness.
If you'd like to join our weekly online meditation group on Wednesday mornings, it's called Zoomeditation, you are more than welcome to do so. It's absolutely free and there's nothing to sign up to. All you need is a wifi connection, a suitable device and somewhere quiet and private where you won't be disturbed. Just e-mail me to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send you the link you will need. Likewise you can e-mail me if you have any questions.