Learning to Meditate Again
I started this four-paragraph-per-day writing project on August 17 and I am generally happy with where the project is going. While there are quite a few postings that (in retrospect) make me cringe, that’s OK — mulligans are very much a part of the process. I’m also happy that I’ve gotten a lot better at learning to meditate again over this three month time period.
My first serious foray into meditation came during the summer of 2004 when I was living in Los Angeles. I was reading a ton of self-help books at that point in my life — and meditation was a pretty common theme in these publications. I hacked and modified several of the techniques mentioned in these books into something that I thought could work for me. It wasn’t an easy process, but eventually I became pretty good in quieting my mind. One of my fondest memories was the first time that I lost track of time while meditating — amazing myself that what had seemed like a 10-minute session had (in fact) lasted for almost three-quarters of an hour.
Coincidentally, the timeframe when I first learned to meditate lines up with the first portion of a very strong ten-year growth cycle for SXSW (but that’s another column for another time). Less coincidental is our habit in recent years of showcasing of strong believers in this practice. One of the most popular speakers at the 2016 event was Andy Puddicombe, the former Buddhist monk who more recently founded the popular meditation app Headspace. Meanwhile, Tim Ferriss has spoken at SXSW several times over the last few years. The importance of daily alone time is a recurrent theme with many of the high-profile guests on his popular podcast.
For me, this daily writing project has led to a lot more structure before breakfast. Part of this structure includes daily meditation, which I’d become less diligent with as my life has grown more busy. I find the quality of my day almost always reflects if I was able to quiet my mind for 10 minutes in the AM. With this post finished, its time for today’s session!