A modern day scientist in the quote above seems to give credence to the wisdom of Psalm 1 that says that when we meditate we are:
like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither
Brian Johnson from “Philosophers Notes” gives a nice overview and some big ideas about meditation and how to do it, so that we may become like that tree!
- Start with “why”. Know why you’re doing it. (Just a few of the benefits of meditation: strengthens your mind, builds your willpower, builds your immune system, affects and changes your DNA and helps you to connect to something bigger than you.)
- Commit – 100%. Go all in.
- Start simply. Consistency over intensity. It’s better to do one minute a day than 60 minutes once a week.
- Don’t be a hero in the beginning. Be in it for the long run.
- Sit with dignity. Your posture effects your mind.
- Breathe and drop in. Take 5 simple deep breaths to start.
- Pick an anchor. A prayer. Your breath. A phrase etc.
- Say “Oh well.” When your mind wanders simply say, “oh well.” Your mind will drift and wander. Don’t make it a big deal. Observe that and bring it back.
- Brush your brain. You don’t judge yourself when you brush your teeth – just brush your brain and don’t judge your meditation. Who knows… if you hadn’t meditated you might have been even more toxic throughout your day?
- Reduce variability of timing. Try to meditate at the same time everyday. Meditate first thing in the morning.
- Work diligently, patiently and persistently. When you do, you’re bound to be successful. Learn to love the “plateau” not just the peak experiences. Make your life one big practice and just show up little by little.
- All life is meditation. It’s not what we experience during meditation but about who we are the rest of the day as a result.
And remember this isn’t about “clock time” but agricultural/horticultural time that matters for our souls – it takes time, but the small habits and practices now grow and develop and make a big difference down the line.