The books that I choose to read seem to keep guiding me to try meditating. Meditation must be an incredible life changing experience. I think there are things that I do that clear my head. Knitting would be one. You have to concentrate just enough on the knitting that you can’t be thinking about dinner or tomorrow or yesterday. Mountain biking on a single track trail is also close to meditating for me. Once again, you must be focused on the trail not on how you screwed up the building reserve budget. Mostly, I have been pushing this idea of meditating to the side. I don’t really have time to add meditation to my day. Sitting still and doing nothing is not in my makeup. Five minutes at the end of yoga twice a week is my limit. But then, the benefits of meditation is brought to my attention again and again through a another book or an article or a shared TED talk. The moment I finally decided to research meditation was when my good friend and co-worker came into my office and announced that he’d been thinking about trying meditation. My mouth dropped open in amazement. This was not a person who I would ever expect to want to try to meditate. He is a busy man, a husband, father, an iconic leader in our community. He is not the character that I have construed as a meditator. Here was my sign to not let my curiosity of meditation be put on the back burner. I was now responsible for two people in need of meditation.
The first book I tried and am still slowly reading is “Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation” This book is a good step by step, start it slow, guide to meditating; full of tips and helpful hints. It starts with three days a week for 20 minutes each time. I tried 5 minutes once and it did go fast. There aren’t any strict rules. Sit quietly and comfortably, set a timer, focus on your breathing. If thoughts come into your head, which they will, recognize them and then let them go. That’s it. Finding the time is the difficult part for me. Really! Finding 20 minutes a day to sit and focus on your breathing. Maybe get up 20 minutes earlier…… I am. For the next month I will meditate for 20 minutes a day. I’ll let you know how it goes. I will be your guinea pig, your science experiment.
The Wild About Books February Book selection is “10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress without Losing my Edge and Found Self-Help that Actually Works-A True Story” by Dan Harris. This is a memoir about an ABC news anchor who is very hypocritical about meditation and how he changes his ways and becomes a daily meditator. I found the book to be very entertaining and a better introduction to meditating than “Real Happiness”. I will be more ready to read “Real Happiness” once I finish Dan Harris’ book. Interesting that both meditation books I’m reading have happiness in the title, although in Dan Harris’ book title it is meant to be comical. What sold me on “10% Happier” was the NPR author interview “How a skeptic learned to love meditation” which I recommend you listen to; click here for the link to it. Wait….. Are you still reading? Go back and listen to the NPR interview before you go on; it’s only 5 minutes, you have time.
See. He’s funny too. It’s a good read. If you need more motivation to meditate, even if you don’t, I recommend you watch this TED Talk by Shawn Achor “The Happy Secret to Better Work” This too is very entertaining and this guy gives a 30 minute talk in 12 minutes. In that 12 minutes you will learn to rewire your brain to work more optimistically and more successfully.
One more TED Talk to share with you and motivate you to meditate is by Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk and happiness researcher, “How to let altruism be your guide” The message in this TED talk is how to implement sustainable harmony in our society.
Big shout out to my staff for finding and sharing the TED talks (thanks mom). If you would like to see more Wild About Books monthly book selections or just browse the weekly blog post go to Wild About Books website.