10 Second Meditation
By Sam Kapur, Co-Founder of Guyding Principals.
We saw a great deal of interest in one of our previous articles, The Pursuit of Happiness, where I spoke about my personal experience in battling depression. In this post I would like to dive a bit deeper into one of the activities that helped me the most in getting out of that state of mind, Meditation.
Now I know what most of you are thinking, meditation isn’t for me, or maybe you already see the benefits of meditation, but just haven’t taken that first step. By the end of this post I will give you the tools you will need to stop making those excuses.
Let me explain to you first what meditation really is and how it works. Meditation is NOT having to clear your mind and not let any thoughts in for hours at a time. You can meditate for as little as 10 seconds at a time. In a nutshell, meditation is pure observation. Whether that’s observing your thoughts, the smell of the roses, or just feeling the individual water droplets on your body while showering. Have you ever had an epiphany moment while taking a shower or sitting on the toilet? If yes, then congratulations, you have successfully meditated.
Think of a dense forest and imagine that everyday through that forest you walk from point A to point B. After a few days you would probably take the same exact route to get to point B and after a few weeks of doing this you most likely would develop a visible path to the location. Now imagine you stop walking that path for a few weeks and let the foliage grow back. You would most likely find a new way to get to point B now. This is similar to the pathways in your brain. When we think a particular thought our neurons fire and when one thought leads to another routes are created. If we let our minds freely go from one thought to the next eventually those routes turn into paths and we are stuck in the same way of thinking. Now if we can slow down the neurons from firing and/or stop one thought from going into the next we can re-grow those paths allowing us to find a new way to our destination.
The simplest and most effective form of meditation for most people is picking a sense and concentrating on it for a short period of time. When you’re in the shower. Close your eyes on feel the individual drops of water on a particular part of your body or listen to the sound of the water. When you are eating a meal, close your eyes and pick out the individual flavors in the food you are chewing. You don’t need to do this for the entire shower or meal if you don’t want to, just start with 10 seconds.
Eventually you want to dedicate a time in your day, ideally first thing in the morning, to sit down and meditate. You’ll do this by clearing your mind and allowing thoughts to come in, then observing that thought and letting it go. Don’t let that thought carry you to your next thought.
For the beginner who really wants to get into meditation I recommend the following resources. First an app called Mindspace. You can get the first 10 sessions for free when downloading the app and it gives you up to 10 minutes a day of guided meditation. The other great resource is www.anmolmehta.com. This is where I originally started about 4 years ago. This is a free site with in-depth instructions, explanations, and videos on both meditation and yoga.
What are some of the reasons you feel you aren’t able to meditate?