I prefer to reflection over celebration
Benefits of Meditation or Reflection
See clearly what leads to happiness, success, failure and stress
relate new knowledge to prior understanding
Helps you to think in both abstract and conceptual terms (loosens thinking, enable connections)
apply specific strategies in novel tasks
understand their own thinking and learning strategies
Transforms your experience into genuine learning about individual values and goals and about larger social issues.
Works against the perpetuation of stereotypes (unconscious bias) by raising your awareness of the social structures surrounding you.
Increases the likelihood that you will remain committed to your goals beyond the short term. (reinforcing convictions)
Reflective practice is a way of studying your own experiences to improve the way you work. It is very useful for people who want to carry on learning throughout their lives. The act of reflection is a great way to increase confidence and become a more proactive and qualified professional.
Tips for meditation
In my research for this episode I came across this awesome article with some great practical tips for meditation for beginners.
Here are a few that I really liked:
Meditate with Purpose. Beginners must understand that meditation is an ACTIVE process. The art of focusing your attention to a single point is hard work, and you have to be purposefully engaged!
Experiment. Although many of us think of effective meditation as a Yogi sitting cross-legged beneath a Bonzi tree, beginners should be more experimental and try different types of meditation. Try sitting, lying, eyes open, eyes closed, etc.
I often just turn a nap into a meditation session if for some reason I can’t sleep. I’ll just lay there and try to be quiet and reflective. If anyone were to observe me I would appear to be asleep.
Generate moments of awareness during the day. Finding your breath and “being present” while not in formal practice is a wonderful way to evolve your meditation habits.
A Zen Experience
I had a weird experience the other day as I was walking to work. I came upon a really beautiful red-breasted bird perched atop a street sign. It was singing. Unapologetically singing, loudly and beautifully.
I stopped, and after a second or two of enjoyment I took out my phone to capture it on video, but the phone was in camera mode, and I had a hard time fussing with the thing to get it to be in video mode. — All the while missing out on the moment, not being present because I was distracted by the phone UI.
I was frustrated by that. I knew I was killing the moment by fussing with the phone, and it really bothered me.
But then something magical happened. Something transcendent. I had the experience of being outside of the moment, outside of the phone, the bird, myself. And I observed the moment for what it was. No longer was I Travis trying to capture a moment with his phone. But I saw that I became the moment. I was a part of it. The bird wasn’t the moment anymore, the scene of this idiot not being able to operate his phone in time to capture a beautiful thing and thereby missing the spirit of the thing, was the moment.
And it was beautiful.
Alan Watts on Zen
Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes. - Alan Watts