Surprise, surprise, I was listening to a podcast the other day. I wonder if there are statistics associated with podcast listeners. You know how they say that there is a higher rate of obesity when you watch more than 2 hours of TV. What do they say about people that listen to hours of podcasts every day? Got off track there for minute, so, I was listening to a podcast with Tim Ferris. If you are not familiar with his work he has written 3 books that I’m familiar with and have read, The 4 Hour Work Week, The 4 Hour Diet, and his latest The 4 Hour Chef. He is a bio hacker has many N=1 experiments on himself, his books are full of information, some useful some not, but interesting none the less. He likes simple but seems scattered and on the podcast he was discussing meditation. My first thought was how does this guy sit and meditate? It seems that he always has something going on in that brain and can it ever quiet? He actually mentioned that he wasn’t meditating to stop his thoughts but more to focus them and have a more peaceful day. He does meditation for 1 song track which is about 4 – 5 minutes, and sits comfortably on a pillow with his back against the wall so he isn’t straining his body in anyway and feeling uncomfortable while performing this ritual. While he is sitting for the first half of the song he thinks about everything he is thankful for and the 2nd half of the song he keeps reminding himself that he has time for everything that is important.
I actually really liked this approach to meditation and remembering the important things is what makes the tough times manageable. I tried it this morning in my Bikram class. I sat on my mat, in the heat, with the lights down low and the music soft so obviously this was before class. As I sat there I thought to myself the things I feel are most important or things that I’m thankful for and as unnecessary thoughts crept in I just kept finding something else to be thankful for. I didn’t know when was the half-way point of the song so I waited for the next song and just said over in my mind that I had plenty of time for the important things and after a few rounds of that I went into savassana and thought to myself I do have time for meditation and it is important.
One of the things that Tim Ferris mentioned on the podcast was that meditation was not meant to clear our minds but more to make us see how we handle the rest of the day and situations that come up. The more he does it the better his days go and that is what he is trying to achieve. I know I can’t eliminate stress but I certainly can manage it, I just have to learn how and use the tools to do so.