When I first started meditating, I couldn’t sit still for ten breaths!
At our 3B company retreats, we have a tradition of starting our days by breathing together.
13-time NBA Champion and legendary Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson says –
“I discovered that when I had the players sit in silence, breathing together in sync, it helped align them on a nonverbal level far more effectively than words. One breath equals one mind.”
The value of meditation is quite simple. The qualities we exude as we sit in silence are practice for how we can choose to live our lives: in the present!
Meditation at its core is a breathing exercise. As you breathe, you have the opportunity to recognize the impermanence of life – All existence (as we know it) is transient and evanescent (further defined as soon passing out of sight, memory, or existence; quickly fading or disappearing).
The reality is we are all going to die. Therefore, all the insane thoughts in your head about everything you have to do today are actually irrelevant. The thoughts that make up the story we tell ourselves about our past which shape our identity don’t matter either.
None of it matters. Why? Because none of it lasts forever. One day none of us will be here.
In some ways, this thought process can be depressing, but in most ways, it is completely freeing – If none of it matters, then all of our stresses are not real. Our fears are not real – F.E.A.R. is simply False Events Appearing Real.
We can fail too. Because after all, failure is not real! We can chase our fears until they go away.
I typically use Headspace to meditate each day. My favorite part is when Andy, the narrator of the meditation, says toward the end of the exercise to “Let everything go… Let the mind be free. And do whatever it wants.”
This simple request he makes allows every thought in the brain to run free in a harmonious way – It’s such a beautiful and rare moment I usually can’t help but smile as it occurs.
Out of the 127+ hours I have spent meditating on Headspace these past three years (and more off the app), there have been countless minutes spent thinking about the past or the future – It’s natural for our brains to want to go to both places.
However, those sacred moments of pure presence make meditation such a powerful and healthy exercise.
These moments replace worry by creating space for gratitude.
They bring an inner sense of focus, confidence, and happiness.
They enlighten us to simply BE, not just in those twenty minutes, but throughout our day.
Whether you meditate or not, hopefully, you will take a moment to recognize and appreciate the way your breath organically moves through your body, the way your heart pumps without missing a beat, and the fact that all you have is this moment.