On Meditation (yes, meditation)

Several months ago I read somewhere that Jerry Seinfeld is a practioner of Transcendental Meditation (TM). Since 1972! He credits the practice with keeping him calm, focused and energetic, saying it’s “like sliding into a warm bath.” Who wouldn’t like that? In various interviews he has said how important TM has been in his life, what a huge difference it’s made in his career and in his life.

Check out this TED Talk, “All It Takes Is Ten Mindful Minutes”

I once had someone tell me if there was anyone who SHOULD be meditating, I should be. My brain is always on, dozens of thoughts at a time and sometimes it’s tough to shut it off, especially during stressful times. It’s akin to, or maybe it is, a bit ADHD-like, it certainly is a distraction and it’s often been the cause of mistakes and more stress. Especially in inter-personal relationships. Its always been tough for me to slow down and just…be. However, I’ve found that meditation is a smart and effective addition to what else I’m doing to slow things down and turn off my thoughts.

In truth, I have been curious about meditation for awhile. There’s no religious dogma or new age wackiness; I’m not saying “monistat” and bowing to anyone. nd a lot of very successful people – politicians, actors, high-powered CEOs – meditate everyday and give their practice a lot of credit for their success. So any thoughts I had that meditation was some sort hokey spiritual thing left long ago (not that there’s anything wrong with hokey spiritual things, if that floats your boat)

So in light of recent events, I’m diving into it. I found this great book, Meditation in a New York Minute and no surprise, an app, Stop, Listen & Think.  Naturally, I need to set a reminder on my phone – every day at 6:30 pm.  I don’t always meditate at that time, but do try and get it in anywhere – on the bus, at my desk; lying in bed before I fall asleep at night.

The idea of “mindfulness” was odd and kind of nebulous to me. The idea of being “present” to me was odd. I mean, I associated 100 thoughts at 100 mph as being present, in other words, things are happening, right now! That’s the exact opposite of mindfulness, of course.

Some of the basics associated with meditation – deep breathing, thinking of gratitude, visualization, for example, has helped me when I’m not making time to meditate. In fact, those skills came in handy battling insomnia and racing thoughts at 2:30 this morning (and thanks to meditating I did get about two hours of sleep earlier, which is about the norm lately).

I can understand why once you get into the practice of it, you won’t stop. Why would you stop doing something that helps and makes you feel good? Easier said than done, perhaps, but so far, I’ve been getting it done and it hasn’t been that hard..

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One comment

  1. Nice post! Like you I do had a very active thought patterns and about 10 years ago I started exploring meditation techniques. I had trouble making time, etc, etc for it and to be honest I just didn’t like it much. Eventually my quest paid off and a conversation about meditation with a business colleague led me to TM (he swore by it), so I looked into it and learned it. It was hands down the most sweet, restful, enlivening experience…and it was soo easy, my body and mind loved doing it and I found myself easily making the time to meditate twice a day. TM is now part of my day to day, just like brushing my teeth. Every area of my life has benefited. I am glad you found a practice that works for you. Good luck to you and all the best!

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