Thursday, February 11, 2010

The 5-Minute Meditator

I'm a born again meditator, for health reasons. My first port of call is this book:
The 5-minute meditator by Eric Harrison

This is a favourite book with a refreshing approach. Eric Harrison has heavy duty credentials as a lifelong practitioner and ex-Buddhist monk, but his mission is to make meditation possible where it's needed most: not in a solitary wilderness, but in the city, in the office, in marriage, in hospital. His teaching is jargon free and not allied to any one tradition.

He explains practical, highly specific ways to relax your mind and body any time, any place, just for a few seconds or minutes. I'm trying to do this. While it's not easy, it sure is heaps easier than conforming to waffly advice like being in the moment.

One of his tips: Do what you're doing. If you're washing the dishes, just do that — without simultaneously planning your day or tackling a problem in your head. Just look at what you're doing, feel the water, admire the plates, notice your hand movements, and so on.

I'm keen to make headway on calming my busy brain, because I'm starting to understand that an older body cannot handle stress as well as a young one. This is a brand new thought, for me. After all, I'm strong and healthy, I love my work, I've got heaps of energy. And yet small things bring me more stress than seems logical. It's a change.

I'm not surprised when I get stressed by tasks like reorganising web files. Naturally I'm stressed when changing php and css files because that's downright dangerous— especially when I'm just winging it.

On the other hand, sometimes I notice myself feeling pressured when doing an easy Code Cracker puzzle! Now that's ridiculous.

All the more reason to meditate.

I buy 10 copies of this lovely book at a time and give them away to friends in need.

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