A few months ago I started listening to this podcast called 10% Happier by Dan Harris. Dan and it got me interested in meditation and meditating um…infrequently. It’s a great podcast where he talks about what got him into meditation (panic attack on-air while hosting some popular TV show), his practice and interviews other meditation practitioners. He also takes a skeptical approach to it and it’s cool that he is Buddhist (but not smells and bells type) so I can relate to some of his approach.
For my personal practice and “sit” time, I started out aiming for a five minute session once a day. That first day of the first week was awesome. I woke up at 04:30, set my phone timer for five minutes and sat on the ground. This is not a verbatim transcript but it might as well have been of my first sit – “OK be cool. You got this. Five minutes is easy. Unless you’re in front leaning rest (push ups) with your ruck on. Or even with your ruck off. I need more push ups in my life. Man, is five minutes up yet?” I glance at the timer. Litrly 30 seconds have passed. This isn’t going to go well. More thoughts like that enter and exit my mind and it turns out, that’s OK.
One of the persons interviewed said that, with this kind of meditating (as opposed to transcendental meditation ‘TM’) that whatever it is that pops into your brain, you acknowledge it, and let the thought go on about its way. No need to clear your mind because that’s not easy at this level of meditating.
So roughly 8 weeks into it, I’m caught up with the podcast (haven’t listened to the guided meditation app that he has as well) and when I sit, it’s five minutes (8 minutes when I’m feeling saucy) and the results are pretty good.
- I’m less stressed.
- I care less about things.
- Things that do bother me bother me less.
- I am quicker to apologize to people.
- More appreciative of people in my life.
- Go Cowboys
For those that know me, they know that I have a relatively easy going demeanor. I don’t actually interact with people outside of chat groups or messaging apps so they may not be able to tell but I feel less assholish (asholey? ). Maybe not to them.
All of that is just to say that Ed is a jerk and I hate him.
I remember reading Ed’s Death Race review and he talked about meditating on top of a parking garage like a weirdo so I never paid it much mind. But he reached out to me yesterday to see if I’d be interested in “running” a meditation challenge for the month. I’d been kicking that idea around in my head because that’s easier than running a 100 miles but didn’t think anyone would be interested but Ed can read minds now, apparently. Meditation – It Just Works™
So how about it, 31 days of meditation? How hard could it be?
- 5 minutes a day the first week
- 10 minutes a day the second week
- 15 minutes a day the third week
- 20 minutes a day the fourth week
350 minutes for the month of July (1-28) or 410 if you think you’re a bad enough dude to meditate with yourself. I won’t guarantee that it will work for you because most of you who read this are jerks for reasons but it’s a good way to test the body and mind.
I’ve included a simple chart for you to check off your meditating. Remember like everything else in life, this is a competition so the harder you meditate the more you win. Kidding.