The True Benefit of Meditation

There are many different kinds of legitimate articles and such that explain all the benefits of meditation. I’ve read so many and they all sound great and have been proven by science. However, the one thing I feel many of them lack is the ability to express the benefits in a way to where the reader can truly understand.

People will only pay close attention and be motivated by something they resonate and connect with. You can throw out a lot of information about the benefits of whatever along with some statistics, but no one will actually pay attention or be motivated unless you explain something to where they can truly connect and understand in a “aha” kind of way.

So with meditation, I feel that the one benefit everyone can relate with is the ability to take a step back as an observer.

What do I mean?

Let’s say you receive a phone call from a really good friend of yours. The moment you answer the phone, they are sobbing and going hysterical because they were just dumped. You aren’t sobbing and freaking out over them getting dumped, you just want to know what happened, find ways to console them and try to give some advice. This means you are actually in the position of being the observer of their situation. You are more clear headed than them, which allows you to see the solutions they may not be able to see because they are currently spending all of their energy wallowing in their own confusion of emotions.

Now instead of your friend, it is you that got dumped.

Instead of calling up a friend, you seek help from yourself. When you meditate consistently, you naturally have the ability to take a step back in the same way you did with your friend. You don’t have to try to take a step back, it becomes a natural habit in the same way you blink the moment something tries to invade your eyeball. You don’t start sobbing and freak out, you immediately become your own observer before you can acknowledge it. And when you become your own observer, you become aware of the solutions that are available to you so you don’t react like an asshole, and regret what you did later.

I have been meditating consistently for the last 11 days ranging from 2 minutes at a time to an hour. Surprisingly, I have noticed the difference in my response to my recent experience last night.

I was trying to look for an Air BnB room for the night but couldn’t find any available in the area I’m in. So I looked up hotels and though they weren’t cheap at all I really wanted to shower and sleep in a bed because I drove a lot and needed the rest. So instead of getting all worked up over not finding an Air BnB room or decent priced hotel, I just paid for a hotel room and that was that.

So I get my room and once I opened the door, I saw that the room did not have sheets and a blanket on the bed, as if housekeeping forgot to clean it. I go back to the lobby and get another room. It’s smaller but it is clean. However, I find out later that the shower doesn’t work and I can only take a bath. Then I get an email indicating that my credit card declined an automatic payment from my gym because I had forgotten to put more money on my credit card after reactivating my Hulu account. Doh!

Of course, at this point I would’ve been livid because I just drove all day, and was super tired and hungry but instead my brain function in a calm way and I just went with it. I didn’t go back to the lobby to complain, I just took a bath, paid my credit card, ate some food, chilled out and meditated before I went to sleep. This was awesome because I didn’t waste a lot of my energy getting livid and complaining about things that are out of my control. I was able to control the one thing I do have control of, which is the way I respond. And damn my response was on par and it felt really fucking good!

Even though I had only spent 11 days consistently meditating, the habit came back easily because I had started picking up the habit before. It’s almost like swimming, once you learn, you can’t unlearn or have to relearn all over again. You just pick the habit back up where you left off. The habit may be a little rusty at first but will smooth out pretty easily.

Once the habit is ingrained and you keep the momentum going, your response to just about anything will naturally be efficient without you trying. Therefore, you will only see everything from an observation point of view instead of getting lost in the ocean of emotions like your friend who just got dumped.

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Photo: A view of the Pacific Ocean from a vista point located in San Simeon, California

 

 

 

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Why You Should Force Yourself to Meditate Consistently

Meditation is like going to the gym consistently for the first month – it’s very difficult to do when you first start and very easy to quit.

I quit a lot in 2018 when it came to meditating but was way more consistent with going to the gym. I only know this because of my physical strength in comparison to my mental strength. I’m pretty damn strong physically, more than ever now, but my mind is still struggling to catch up.

I know all the benefits of meditating and how imperative it is to develop it as a habit because I blogged a lot about it. Some of my best written blogs came when I was meditating daily back in January and February. However, because this year has thrown me so many challenging curve balls during the development of this habit, I fell out of meditating before it became a habit, several times. This only caused me to get lost in the sauce all year long by continuously forgetting everything I personally feel that contributes towards mental strength – the philosophy of Stoicism and the philosophy of Buddhism. These two philosophies compliment each other very well and actually almost run parallel with one another.

When I look back to everything I experienced this year, the only thing I would’ve changed was my meditating habit by FORCING myself to be consistent with it.

Would it change anything that happened to me this year? No because everything is based on perspective. You cannot change what happens to you, you can only change your perspective.  If I had forced myself to meditate, regardless of what was going on around me, I either would’ve handled everything more effectively or not noticed any challenges whatsoever because I wouldn’t be triggered by much, not even the dark night of the soul. When you are triggered by something, that’s an indication that there’s something in your mind that needs attention.

This year was definitely a year I needed to force the meditation habit because there was a lot that happened to where it would’ve saved me a lot of energy. Out of the 37 years of my life, this was by far the most difficult and challenging year I’ve EVER experienced. I cannot tell you how confused and misunderstood I felt all year long and how annoyed I was from feeling confused and misunderstood. Basically, I was just lost all year long, but that’s ok, shit happens right? Time to move forward, not get lost in the past.

And so as the year comes to an end, I made a promise to myself that I would force myself to meditate every day for at least 20 minutes, regardless of where I’m at. I’ve already seen major results in the efforts I’ve put in towards going to the gym on a daily basis but I want my mind to outperform the progress of my body because the mind is more powerful than the body.

The mind is our consciousness which is responsible for generating all the matter that our physical body and organs are made from and keeps them functioning. So, if you think about it, you can be in the best shape of your life physically, but if your mind is trash, you’re limited. However, if you’re mind is in the best shape it’s ever been, but your body is trash, it won’t matter because your mind has the unlimited potential to adapt and change. Besides, the human body is only a temporary housing spot for our consciousness in order to experience life as a human. Get what I’m saying?

So with that said, I need to make some major gains with this mind of mine by forcing meditation consistently now that I’ve seen major results with the way I’ve forced myself to go to the gym consistently. And plus, the mind is a forever energy, so as a human, now is the time to tap into that while I can.

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Photo: A panoramic photo I took yesterday of Lake Travis from the patio of the Oasis Texas Brewing Company in Austin, Texas.

 

 

Mastering Your Own Mind

Meditate. Meditate. Meditate. I cannot emphasize this enough.

When I first started to meditate, I absolutely hated it. Sometime last year, I downloaded the Headspace app and got myself all pumped up about it. Within 30 seconds of starting, I was already impatient, frustrated, bored and annoyed; I just could NOT sit still. 1 minute seemed like an eternity. But as I started to work my way up from 30 seconds to 30 minutes, I was able to grasp the concept of meditation and take notice of the huge benefits I had gained from it every time.

Thinking back to when I first started meditating reminds me of one of my favorite movies growing up, Kindergarten Cop, that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Kimble.

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Being The Observer

Do you remember the times when you’ve observed someone getting all heated about something you know was either something so small, sometimes not even a big deal and possibly over-exaggerated? Of course you do, because it happens all the time, right?

What about observing someone going through depression who maybe thinks that no one loves or cares about them when you know full well there are many people who do? How about a teenager who thinks their social life is over because one person called them socially awkward but you know they make many people laugh all the time? Or what about a writer/author/blogger who feels that they don’t have anything to contribute in their writing, when really, you know they’ve touched the lives of more people than they realize?

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Using Meditation As A Reset Button

The last few days have been pretty overwhelming for me due to the solar eclipse. I could go into detail about why the moon phases have a huge impact on me, but I’ll blog about that, along with my spiritual awakening, at a different time, when I’m ready to share.

So this morning while enjoying my cup of coffee, I remembered to read yesterday and today’s Daily Stoic, since I forgot yesterday. What I read today is just what I needed to read and be reminded of: the present moment.

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