Perfect for: Learning to Meditate, Controlling your Mind
Length: 304 pages
Depth: Easy to read, Hard to Practice
This book teaches the reader how to meditate in a very simple and practical way. It also addresses the biggest myths, roadblocks and challenges that come along with implementing mediation into your daily routine.
All the Feels:
The title of the book says it all. Like many, I saw mediation as a hoax. This book completely changed my mindset. It taught me how to meditate in the simplest and most practical way possible. I now meditate for 5 minutes per day and I am HOOKED!
My Main Takeaway(s):
Mindfulness: ability to see what is in your head at any given moment so you don’t react reflexively or instinctively. It allows you to view your thoughts from a higher perspective before acting on them.
Mindful meditation basics: get comfortable, focus on your breath. Feel your breath in your nostrils and chest. Repeat the words “in” and “out” in your head. Once your thoughts drifts, recognize it and return to focusing on your breath. The goal is not to clear your mind, it’s to practice focusing on one thing completely and entirely. At first you may only be able to focus for a few seconds. That is okay, think of each second spent meditating as a bicep curl for your brain. Over time you will be able to focus for longer periods.
If your mind wanders, recognize it and start over. If you miss a day, just try harder to meditate the next day. You don’t need to perfect your routine on the first try. Do not be hard on yourself, simply restart and try again. When you notice your mind wander, feel a sense of satisfaction that you were able to notice it. If you make waking up from distraction rewarding, then you train the mind to do it more often.
Try to find a sense of enjoyment in the meditation. Ex: The feeling of the hot air rushing out of your nose. Having an enjoyment component to the meditation will help to turn it into a habit. Also notice when the benefits of mediation (ex: mindfulness, calmness, etc.) pop up in your everyday life. Recognizing these benefits will also help build the habit.
When you recognize a negative thought, use the mantra “is this useful?”. Once you realize this negative emotion is not constructive, you can let it go more easily.
Dealing with urges: SURF
- Stop – when you notice an urge, stop and take a second. This will put some time in between the urge and reflexive response.
- Understand – really focus on the urge. Where do you feel it in your body? Ex: craving for sweets on the tongue.
- Relax – urges come and go quickly. You need to ride the wave and let it pass. Be patient and breath deep, within a few minutes the urge will pass.
- Freedom – take satisfaction/joy and the fact that you resisted the urge. Also, that you were able to recognize and resist the urge via mindfulness. These are small wins that show your meditation is paying off.