When’s the last time you did nothing? No thinking. No TV. No work. There are 148 hours in the week: How often do you take 10 minutes of your day to connect with yourself? Most of us work so hard and are so committed to our careers, friends and family we never take the time to commit to ourselves. Would you run a car engine incessantly? Of course not. So why do we do this to our bodies and minds?
Buddhists call the human brain the “monkey brain” because they say it jumps around all the time — from thought to thought and sensation to sensation. Meditation helps tame the jumping. It’ll help you return to the here-and-now in order to observe what’s occurring in your body.
A recent Harvard and MIT study has proven that meditation has physical and mental benefits. However, unlike most medicines and therapy, mediation is free and accessible to everyone.
Some common misconceptions about mediation exist but you don’t have to be a Buddhist to meditate. You don’t have to sit cross-legged and you don’t have to listen to strange music. It doesn’t have to be a spiritual process at all; it can simply be a physical practice that enables you to calm your mind and body.
Meditation has become an incredibly important part of my life and I practice every day, regardless of my schedule. There’s an old Zen Buddist saying that implies that the less time you have, the more you need to meditate. It keeps me grounded and has helped me manage my stress. I suggest doing it for two-to-five minutes every day to get started. Like brushing your teeth, mediation can become a daily ritual that will dramatically improve your life.
For more information on mediation, and how ten minutes a day is all it takes to improve to have a dramatic effect, check out this TED Talk video from my good friend Andy Puddicombe.