Updated: Jul 31, 2020
I read a quote from Daniele Bolelli (Philosopher, martial artist) He said "training is like sweeping the floor, just because you've done it once, it doesn't mean the floor is clean forever. Everyday dust comes back, every day we must sweep."
Sorry to break it to you but to become a buddha takes a little longer than 7 days. So, if you fell for the clickbait to find a buddha hack you should probably stick around because you may benefit from what you about to read.
I know this isn't what you wanted to hear, you probably still want a '7 days till you're a fucking buddha program. Don't we all ✌🏼
All you need to be is HAPPY!!
Many of us spend so much time focusing on being happy that we don't know how to cope with sadness. Believe it or not, the idea that we should be happy is a relatively new idea.
The good or bad news is that behavioral geneticists say that trying to be happy to some people is like asking someone to be taller. The truth is trying to always be happy and focusing on that is a priority can cause you to be unhappy.
I know it's a pain in the fucking arse, why can't it all be straightforward. What I am not saying is there isn't things we can do to make ourselves happy, but we shouldn't just focus on the outcome of happiness.
We need to spend time on the process which can cultivate not just the emotion of happiness but an overall wellbeing consisting of mental resilience, gratitude and mindfulness.
The term 'shifting' is one I have adopted over the years. Basically, it's my approach to change from an outcome focus to being more process focused. It's all well and good setting goals etc but if you truly want to be successful you want to create the habits that get you there.
James clear in his fantastic book Atomic habits explains this idea perfectly -
" It doesn't matter how successful or unsuccessful you are right now. What matters is whether your habits are putting you on the path towards success. You should be far more concerned about your current trajectory than your current result"
I will be honest and my habit for meditating has slightly fallen off track recently. The stress of life and basically everything that has been happening has made the idea of sitting still and not thinking nearly impossible.
Benefits of Meditation?
Buddha didn’t s have science to back up his claims but we do now. EMany studies have proven that meditation helps with:
Improved self esteem
Better self awareness
Improved tolerance to pain
Improves anxiety and depression symptoms
At the time of me writing this we are going through a global pandemic and I know just a couple of improvements in the areas above could help many of us.
The process of meditating is simple at its core but still one of the most complex things you can sit down and do. If you have ever tried to sit down for any length of time and focus on your breath without a thought entering your mind you've probably learned quickly the lack of control you have over your own mind.
Meditation is basically mental training that allows you to glimpse into the present moment and separate yourself from your ego even for the briefest of moments. It is that moment where you can stop trying to solve a problem and just let go. Meditation doesn't have an immediate impact, it's like expecting after some sit ups to magically have a six pack - it takes time and perseverance to truly experience the benefits.
Why Do I Meditate?
I started meditating around 6 years ago, shortly after my first panic attack. I lived with anxiety and depression for several years before I even had the language to explain what was going on.
A panic attack is when your mind tells your body that there is a serious threat. Basically, that you might die and it feels fucking awful. For me it basically felt like Darth Vader was crushing my chest and I couldn't breath and literally thought I was about to die. I went to the hospital to be told I was perfectly fine and maybe I should see I psychologist. I will go into further detail in future blogs about my journey, but I guess what I am trying to say is the inspiration came from desperation.
How To Meditate?
There are so many forms of meditation and I am no expert but the simple idea is to sit in an alert posture and close your eyes for a set amount of time and focus on your breath. I started by setting a 5 minute timer and counting my breath down from 10.
When I first started I honestly couldn't make it past 9 without my brain drifting off. Your brain will 100% drift off and it's perfectly normal and part of the whole process. When you notice you have wandered off just acknowledge it and return to your breath.
There isn't a good or bad meditation session, you shouldn't be outcome focused. I find it helps to set a clear intention on why you are doing this.
Here is mine:
I am doing this so I can be a better person, partner, friend or employee. To help me show up when it matters and contribute better to this gift we call life.
There are so many tools today to help you mediate and I’d suggest choosing one and trying to build a daily ritual where you sit down for 10 minutes or more.
I'm currently using Sam Harris's app 'Waking Up' and you will probably gasp at the annual price of the subscription but if compare it to a gym membership, you will realise it's actually a bargain.
If you want to try meditating for the first time then I'd suggest listening to the video below:
Weekly Mental Challenge
Each week I will be setting a weekly challenge for myself and for you to participate in. So before you rush ahead to subscribe to a yearly membership to a mediation app, I'd suggest building a solid practise over the next few weeks.
I don't expect everyone to take part because we are all different and find our own way in making things work. However, if you have never tried meditation before please take the next 10 minutes for yourself and listen to the clip above. If your mind struggles to focus on your breath, then it's a clear sign that you could benefit from a little mental training.
My 'Mental Challenge' is to include 5 to 10 minutes of meditation into your morning routine for the next 7 days. I cannot stress enough how much of a difference you will feel just taking 10 minutes out of your day for yourself.
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