Do you meditate? While I make a noble effort to meditate most days, I often go through periods where my chattering monkey mind makes it close to impossible. And quite frankly, there are other periods when I feel so calm and centered from my other morning activities (like running and spiritual reading) that I don’t feel the need to meditate.
So, it was with great interest I recently read about a unique approach to meditation that actually involves a little thinking over the course of the practice and only takes 10 minutes to complete. (It comes courtesy of Tony Robbins via the Tim Ferriss book Tools for Titans.)
Now most meditations are all about clearing the mind, or some might say going beyond the mind, to establish a sense of peace, contentment and even happiness. However, this meditation puts the mind to work in a constructive fashion and for me achieves the same goals.
Granted, this is not a typical practice, but it’s a great way to obtain the clarity and confidence you need to meet the day ahead. Please note that I’ve altered this meditation just a bit by adding some focus on the breath and expanding on some of the descriptions. Also, should your mind begin wandering, just come back to the task at hand.
The 10-Minute “Thinking Person’s” Meditation.
Minute 0-1. Focus on Your Breath.
This means paying attention to the air coming into your lungs on the inhale and out your nose on the exhale. Take deep, l-o-n-g breaths. It’s amazing how the simple act of paying attention to the breath has a way of quieting the mind.
Minutes 1-4. Give Thanks for Three Things.
Consider anyone and anything that brings happiness to your life. Having trouble coming up three things? Keep it simple. Be thankful for the sun streaming through the windows, the roof over your head, your good health. Then, repeat them again. It’s impossible to be angry when you’re expressing gratitude.
Minutes 4-7. Feel the Presence of God.
I lost at least one of my readers here (I’m talking to you Chuck), but the idea is to look within and sense the vast compassion and benevolence that emanates from your heart. For me, this is where I feel the presence of God. Again, focus on the breath and let this sense of goodness move outward from the heart to your arms, your legs, your mind.
Minutes 7-10. Visualize Three Things You Want to Happen That Day.
This is especially productive for the Type-A personalities out there. It is what it sounds like, looking at what the day ahead has in store and visualizing positive outcomes for three things you want to accomplish. In the words of Robbins, “See it as though it’s already been done, feel the emotions, etc.”
Not sure of the timing of each activity? Use your best judgement—or if you need to, use your phone or a watch. Again, this is not a standard meditation practice. But if you’re looking for a quick practice that mimics meditation’s calming, centering effects, it’s definitely worth a try.