Over the last 6 months I have been listening to many podcasts from the “Tim Ferriss Experiment” where Tim interviewed a broad range of highly successful people from elite athletes, business people and scientists. These interviews are often simply free flowing conversations without a strict agenda and vary quite considerably in length. However there are a few questions which always pop up. The most relevant for me is about morning routines and meditation practice which seems to have a regular pattern in the answers.
More recently I bought “Tools of Titans”, Tim’s latest book. This is a collection, of the above mentioned interviews where each paragraph is dedicated to a different person and what makes them successful. One of the most astonishing statistics is that about 80% of these very successful people have been practicing mindfulness exercises over a considerable period of time. Common benefits reported vary between a calmer mind, better response to stressful situations, easier to relax, better sleep and various others.
I first experienced meditation when I was practicing yoga in 1988. At the end of each session the teacher would guide us into a meditative practice which manifested with great benefits on my wellbeing from day one. Although I knew how to do it and how good it was, I did practice it very occasionally. It was not until very recently when I considered taking up meditation as a regular, daily activity. Although I never really try New Year’s resolutions I decided this year to coincide my mindfulness practice with the first day at work, the 3rd of January. I have been allocating slots of half hour in my daily diary and meditate every day I am at the office, plus at home during weekends. I decided to adopt a simple meditation methodology where I listen to my breath, observe my abdomen moving while listening to a relaxing, simple and repetitive music with my earphones, to avoid external distractions.
If a thought comes into my mind I simply acknowledge it and go back to my breath. It’s amazing how the mind wander and many different thoughts and old memories come to mind. My sessions last between 15 and 30 minutes. The results, over about 6 weeks, are extremely encouraging and they have been improving over time:
- The first two weeks I was struggling to calm down into my meditative session for probably 5-10 minutes. Outside the sessions I started to notice, after a few days of practice, how I was constantly in a much better mood, less jumpy to external issues which would normally irritate me and a general feeling of wellbeing.
- During the following two weeks I noticed how getting into meditative state got easier and deeper feeling of meditation during sessions. Being calmer in a variety of situations has become normal.
- During the last two weeks I got to a point where I can start meditating and feeling into the session within a very short time. I start to miss it as a habit if doesn’t happen by a certain time of the day.
I would suggest to everyone to try meditation. It is one of the easiest and most beneficial activities you can do and there is plenty of knowledge available for free so, really, there are no excuses for not doing it.