It seems like almost high achiever I know finds the time to meditate and lift weights. Those are two fairly different activities which are usually associated with disparate stereotypes, but tons of high achievers do both. Not only do they do both of these things, but they ascribe some of their success to them.
Because of this observation, I've tried to meditate several times in my life. I went to a Vipassana retreat and left after two days. For a month I meditated for twenty minutes every night. The habit never seemed to stick, probably because I didn't know why I was doing it and didn't see any results.
Then I read a book called the Willpower Instinct. It said that both exercise and meditation increased will power. Further, it said that five minutes of meditation a day was enough, and that it would take two months for it to pay any dividends. Okay, I thought, I'll meditate every day for five minutes, and not quit for at least three months.
My technique, as outlined by the book, is to close my eyes, focus on my breath, and think "breathe in.... breathe out...". After a minute or two I stop the silent breathe in, breathe out chant and try to just focus on my breath. I used to find this process very frustrating, because I thought that if I strayed from thinking about my breath, that meant that I wasn't getting the benefits of meditation. It turns out the opposite is true-- meditation is supposed to be difficult, and it's this very straying and regrouping process that builds willpower.
It's probably been around four months now, although I've missed some days while traveling. Sure enough, somewhere around two months in I started to see benefits. Specifically, I notice when I'm about to follow an impulse to be distracted, and I have a second to try to reign it in. So instead of finding myself frustrated with coding one second, and then browsing Reddit the next, I now get frustrated, realize that I'm about to go to Reddit as a result, and have a second to decide whether that's something I'm going to do or not. I haven't eliminated all distraction, but simply being aware of that impulse has greatly reduced the amount times I give in to it.
My sweet Japan trip is officially over. I think I'll be in Korea for the day when this posts, then a few days in Vegas, then back to SF!
Sorry to everyone waiting for SETT invites-- we'll be doing a big batch within the next week for sure.
Although it's hard to quantify, I would say personally that meditation helps with all kinds of things, but it's definitely not a cure-all by itself like some people would claim. Most notably, when you have a really shitty day or something bad happen but having a stable meditation practice helps bounce back a lot quicker.
On the longer retreats like the vipassana 10 day ones, you really notice just how much your mind by itself affects you. Although nothing has changed, your mood goes from euphoria to boredom to misery and back each day. You realize that in most cases, happiness really is a choice and not dependent on anything. The simple joy of eating a snack fully or watching the rain. How much your mind wants to distract you from anything that seems remotely boring or difficult or painful.having said that, it's definitely nto a replacement for therapy or friends
can you write more / keep a running track of books you read/ things that inspire/things you have noticed please
What is the appeal with Reddit? I've never seen it what the appeal is. It ruined my old roommate.
What's the appeal with crack? To answer your question, it used to be loaded with lots of interesting information about science and programming and shit,, and then I got into the political aspect of it, and I kind of just drowned in it. It's really good at hogging your attention. Once you start, you can't stop. Because the effort it takes to get another jolt of info or funny pics is so low. It hacks your brain.
I HIGHLY doubt one can liken Reddit to Crack. The latter is a drug; chemical addiction is a lot different to low will power.
Is it really? Have you experienced both? Can you compare the experiences?
Well according to research crack gets a bad rap
the things you learn on the net
I find the following 10 minute guided meditation to be very useful for noobs (like me):
I also find the weight lifting / meditation combo to be a deadly one.
I am replying to this old article (it is mid Nov.2014 now); Anyone: what is this "Reddit"? -- Tynan mentioned in his recent article he has never taken drugs but then Reddit seems to be some form of marijuana or the like? No offense to anyone, i'm just curious.
Great post and meditation and will be of great information and help for others. Like to say meditation helps in leading healthy lifestyle by improving mood. increase concentration and soothing stress. Meditation lower high blood pressure, reduce cholesterol level, obesity, some cancers and heart disease.
I've been wanting to start a thread on this for a while now -- isolation tanks.
I started meditating every night but quickly grew frustrated. I saw benefits but felt I was hitting a wall... I then realized in my peak gym rat form I lived in a residence with a basement full of weights that I'd never touch. The gym was the temple I did my worship at, while my home is where I do my work at.
I suspected the same maybe true for meditation, I needed a temple. I checked local Buddhist temples but their websites sounded more interested in gatherings and schedules.
I found several places in Portland that have "isolation tanks." They're perfectly light blocked, they contain a high sodium solution water and warm air and give the sensation of "floating." You wear ear plugs to block out as much audio as possible. Each session is 90 minutes.
My first 2 sessions were a bit 'eh. I realized my pattern -- I think through my daily thoughts, "Oh, when you write that email don't forget to mention..." then once done I go "I wonder what time it is?"
After listening to the audio book of The Way of Zen a few times before my 3rd float I realized it was very "bright" inside the tank as I imagined my gmail and IDE. I decided that time to "stay inside the tank" and the effects were rather different.
I'd recommend anyone interesting in meditation and leaves on the west coast to experiment with isolation chambers tanks.
The thing that really scares me is spontaneous personal expression. For example, I can actually freestyle pretty well, but I've only done it for an audience a handful of times. Doing it for one person is even scarier. Rapping someone else's lyrics for any audience doesn't raise my pulse at all, but having people hear what I come up with in the moment is oddly terrifying.
Last night was my friend Luke's birthday party. Before the complete production, which is like the parties I've seen in movies, but better, he hosted a small dinner and meditation session for half a dozen of us. I went because I've met awesome new friends every time I've gone to one of his dinner parties, and despite hearing about how much it's improved everyone's lives, I've just never really understood meditation.
We all sat on cushions on the top floor of his house. We would be doing pair meditation, Luke explained. We were to sit and ping-pong back and forth offering one word descriptions of what's going on in our bodies and minds. He and his partner went back and forth to demonstrate:
According to Leo Babuata of zenhabits, meditation is the most important habit to implement.
Three years ago, I began meditation after StumblingUpon Babuata's blog.
Every morning I woke up, sat on a comfortable cushion, and listened to my breath for 10-15 minutes. Well, every morning I wasn't hungover. And every morning I wasn't busy with school work. Aaand every morning I was at home, and not on the road.