Friday, April 8, 2011

A Zen Lesson of Sorts

Wednesday night's meditation was unremarkable. Some of the time I was into it and some of the time I wasn't. I had the hot flashes again, so strange. Thursday night I took the easy way out and did a guided 5 minute. Now I must say, I really find this particular 5 minute meditation extremely beneficial for a few reasons:

1. I keep it on my iPod and can use it to meditate discretely on the go

2. It's so short that there is zero pressure/anxiety and I often find myself getting in the groove pretty quickly

3. It's a very basic breathing meditation, very easy to follow/digest

Sometimes, after completing the 5 minute guided meditation I will continue to meditate on my own afterwards. This might be a good thing for beginners to try as well. Pick a low-pressure, short, guided meditation and then continue on your own for a few minutes, only if you're feeling it. I often do this with running as well. I will tell myself I'm running 2 miles (easy to me) and when I get to two miles, if I'm feeling good, I'll just keep going. This method works for me because if I only do two miles I've met my goal, but I also have room to push myself without being disappointed in myself for NOT doing more. 

My point is, I find that I often end up accomplishing more when I don't place a lot of expectations on myself because I actually focus on the task rather than all the hype surrounding the task. For instance with a shorter meditation, instead of thinking "OMG, I have to sit here for 40 MINUTES??" I'm just focusing on breathing because for me, 5 minutes is nothing. I guess, my point is, a lot of barriers are in our heads, so this way of thinking may be a good approach for times when you find the expectations you've placed upon yourself overwhelming.  

I'm not saying don't ever shoot for the stars, but it's ok to set easily achievable goals if the alternative is avoiding the task altogether. That doesn't make you lazy or a bad person or less motivated, it just makes you human, which is what we all are ultimately. This can be hard to remember when we constantly allow other people's ideas of us (and our own) to control our behavior. 

I read a zen story the other night about a wave who was sad he wasn't as big of a wave as all the other waves. He was mopey and sad and down on him self :(

But then another wave came along and reminded him that he was not a wave, he was actually water.  

I thought that was cool. 

If you're still with me, what I'm trying to say is try not to define yourself as a good employee or a good son/daughter, or whatever. Try to simply be a good human. When I do this I usually find that the other things fall in line. 


No comments:

Post a Comment