Sunday, February 3, 2008

Slow Down with Meditation

The connection with mind, body, and spirit that we’re all searching for can be accessed in part through the art of meditation. Lee, one of my clients, learned firsthand about the power of meditation. Here’s his story:

I’d always been a type A personality, and I’d already watched my father and every male member of both sides of my family succumb to heart disease, but I became determined that this wouldn’t happen to me. Yet even though i was very dedicated to proper exercise and nutrition, I knew something was missing–I felt as if some key component of a healthy lifestyle was eluding me. In working with David, I was more able to see the value of going within–that is, I was able to understand the value of what’s commonly referred to as meditation.

I’d dabbled with meditation before, but my driven personality always got in the way. The voice inside my head kept saying, “Don’t just sit there, do something!” David helped me understand the value of slowing down. I can remember laughing with him one day as we talked about changing my inner voice’s message to, “Don’t just do something, sit there!”

In casual conversation, we would compare notes on how our workouts were going and how our love lives were progressing. But it was always most interesting when our attention would turn to the amazing insights gained through our meditation sessions. Ironically, our moments of “non-doing” became some of our most productive times, and together we began to understand that by slowing down, we could actually accomplish more.

Through meditation, I was more able to observe my thought process. I watched my thoughts travel all over the map. But instead of evaluating or judging those thoughts as good, bad, silly, or brilliant, I learned to just note them and think, Hmmm, isn’t that interesting. Lo and behold, after several months of dedicated 15-minute meditation sessions, five to seven times per week, a dramatic change occurred. I could actually stop and examine my thoughts in real time. Before reacting with a cross remark to a loved one, I’d catch myself and think, I wonder if I could respond differently here. I found myself stopping before leaving the house and asking, “Do I have my keys and my wallet?” Now this may not seem like a big deal, but the cumulative effect was that my life became less of a struggle and infinitely more enjoyable.

Now, rather than having knee-jerk reactions to situations, I have the option to respond with some degree of awareness, and new options and possibilities for behavior have opened up. Are all my problems solved? Of course not. Is meditation a panacea for all life’s ills? No. But if I were to pick one thing that has had the greatest impact on my life over the last ten years, it would definitely be meditation, and the slowing down that came with it.

(Excerpt from “Slow Down: The Fastest Way to Get Everything You Want”)

Love, Peace, David

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