Not More Hacks!
I don’t really care for hacks. All that short-cut, time-saving ideology.
I don’t want to short change my experience just so that I can cram more into an hour. Run faster, get more done, be busier.
Enough of doing more.
But on this occasion I’m hacking how to meditate so that more people can use it and get over their fear of it.
I’m specifically hacking ‘meditating properly’ because it came up for one of my clients. It came up so much that it had hampered his own meditation process. He felt that he should be meditating properly to feel okay about who he was, to feel approval for how it’s going.
So this hack is going to help you see through this. Because, you’ll be pleased to know, there is no ‘meditating properly’. There are meditation techniques and there are the results of meditation and that’s it. The important one is the second one, the results. The benefits and the gains. The how to meditate techniques are just to get you there.
in Osho’s Book of Secrets there are 112 meditation techniques and he asks that if you want to learn how to meditate you just pick one that you fancy and then try it for 3 months. Just pick one. it’s not important. All that is important is whether or not it works for you.
So choose Transcendental Meditation, choose mantra meditation, choose yoga, choose mindfulness, choose breath observation, choose body scan, choose sitting, walking, lying, standing. Choose active meditation, choose sound.
You see. the meditation technique is just a tool to get to see through the illusion. Your thoughts are not real.
How to Meditate
When you meditate you begin to see, you become aware. When you meditate you are breaking the train of everyday thoughts. The thought spiral. Meditation is breaking the train of everyday thought and letting go of impulsive thinking.
You let go and awareness enters. You break the train of thought and you see the space. You feel present. You react less and respond more.
This is the goal. The body and mind are resting. They are not doing, doing, doing. You are not lost in thought exhausted.
The brain burns so much energy to keep thinking. We run it ragged just chasing our tails with our thoughts of approval and judgement.
What to do instead
How you get there makes no difference. As long as you aren’t hurting others then take your pick. But not meditating and watching TV. The inaction as you sit is vital to the meditation process. The still space lets that awareness bubble up and the thought spiral is revealed.
So, when you are learning how to meditate don’t worry whether you are meditating properly. That is just more thinking to take you away from your presence. Instead choose a technique that suits. That is the hack. Aim for a break in everyday thinking and allow your awareness to swell within you.
If you want more help get in touch or check out my coaching programme.
Many people come to me for ways to use meditation to help them with relaxation.
Stress and anxiety are huge realities for a number of them and seeking a way to relax is an understandable aim. Usually I give some starting techniques to introduce calm.
Soon after I will begin to develop these and suggest ways to deepen their meditation practice. There is an enormous power available through meditation and I have always believed that relaxation is only a single starting response. However, as I have deepened my reflection on this I think that relaxation can actually benefit us in ways that aren’t usually considered. The effect is actually similar to that of a meditation session.
This might seem obvious but it is possible to achieve some of the benefits of a structured meditation session by simply relaxing properly.
This doesn’t even have to be relaxing in the typical way although that is fine as well.
The key, in fact, the secret to this relaxation process is to allow the mind to quiet and for your thought processes to slow down.
Once you can get into a state where your inner dialogue doesn’t hold you in its grip, you will actually start to feel fairly content and upbeat. This is true relaxing. Not fighting, not struggling but developing an acceptance about the way things are.
You get into the place where you are allowing yourself to enjoy life as it occurs. In the moment, you are aware and not seeking something else. It sounds a lot like a meditative state but you can achieve it by just allowing yourself to really relax.
You might find that you can relax whilst working hard on something, or playing with your kids, or even watching a movie. The point is that you take an intentional break from worry and judgement.
Think about the things that you like to do that absorb you and that you find relaxing and find more ways to bring these into your weeks and into your days. It doesn’t matter how long you get to do this, any full relaxation is better than none and will benefit you as you build on it.
Keep choosing to do some relaxing things and don’t think about what others think or about what you should be doing. Pretty soon you notice that you are not so bothered by the need for approval and are more interested in enjoying what is going on for you now.
Taking a circle of drummers through transformation is a life changing event.
The circle gives us equanimity and clarity. It allows us open communication and connection.
Not sitting behind desks or standing in lines; instead a limitless path.
Now take the circle and twist it in on itself to give a spiral. Allow the drummers to overlap each other as they play.
Hear the overlap, the fields of rhythm. Plant a starting rhythm at the centre point of the spiral and let it travel outwards along the curve from player to player and drum to drum.
Once the rhythm is breathing by itself take the spiral on a journey, let it move and spin.
Feel the rhythms sweeping from the centre to the edges and let the momentum build and the energy rise.
Let the spiral expand like a galaxy and unfold out into the room. Keep playing and listening.
When the expansion is complete join the ends together and bring everyone on back to the circle of one.
Connect together and breathe.
When we organise sounds with silence we have the beginnings of rhythm.
The nature of the spaces between the sounds will determine a regular rhythm or something we would describe as arrhythmic. Something that we describe as rhythmic would have a certain degree of predictability about it, it wouldn’t feel unexpected as it unfolded.
Sounds played with a recognisable periodicity create a cycle that feels balanced and a movement that engages us into a groove. Rhythm played in this way is infectious and satisfying.
Our connection to rhythm comes from our physiology. We move and function through a series of balanced actions that flow and cycle in regular rhythms. From our heartbeat and our breathing to the way we walk and move. Our arms and legs swing with balanced motion and we can create changes in pace through rhythmic shifts.
When we are healthy and well we are harmonically rhythmic beings.
Just imagine how unpredictable our existence would be if our organs and muscles worked in an uncoordinated almost random fashion as they functioned. Life would be a struggle to say the least.
The world around us is a rhythmic symphony. On a subatomic level everything vibrates at its own rate. This vibration is rhythm and the universe vibrates in rhythmic harmony.
On a wider level the tides, moons, seasons, and sunsets follows a balanced set of cycles. We may have labelled them with our own classes of measurement but by their nature they follow broad rhythmic patterns. The universe is polyrhythmic.
The rhythms around us and within us affect us in three important ways:
Physiologically – As the rhythms within your body change you experience the physiological effects of that change. An increase in heart rhythm will trigger a series of corresponding change to breathing rate and other organic cycles as they change with it.
Psychologically – The brain generates its own rhythmic patterns of activity as brain waves. Typically grouped into four classes: Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta they correspond to different levels of brain activity from high to low. By immersing yourself in a particular rhythmic stimulus it is possible to change your brain state as the wave cycles shift to match the stimulus. This is how many relaxation audio programmes work.
Behaviourally – From the rhythmic lulling of a baby to the aggressive drums of war rhythm can cause us to alter our behaviour patterns. Equally powerful are the trance rhythms of the shaman which can shift our state of consciousness and awareness.
We can explain the power of rhythm through a phenomenon known as entrainment. If you take some time to observe couples walking through a park or city centre you will see its effect. As people walk side by side you will notice that their steps fall into a synchronous rhythm.
It’s difficult to walk next to someone and pace with a different rhythmic cycle.
Entrainment happens when two rhythmic events are close to each other, there is a coming together and a matching of rhythms or vibrations. It is the nature of harmonic rhythm and explains how easy it is to get absorbed by rhythms and grooves. As an audience we can feel the pull of the time and entrain to it.
By creating specific rhythms to lower brain waves and physical rhythmic rates we can use rhythmic entrainment as a therapeutic tool to entrain a more relaxed state into the mind and body of the listening audience.
We can use rhythm to create harmony and to create relaxed and effective states of being in ourselves, in others and in the world.
Everyday the media is full of new stories that demonstrates even more the depths that people will sink to in their time on our planet.
I’m not going to list them. That will just reinforce my experience of them, the laws of attraction happen in both directions both positive and negative. I’m out to change my experience of them.
From violence to peace. From fear to love. From hatred to compassion.
I’ve decided that I will only allow in those things that I want. That means news, that means stories online and in print. I’m only open to the vibration of the things that I want.
Vibrating With The Laws of Attraction
This is how it works, it’s a rule… a law. An event happens. It’s reported across all the media channels across the globe. We consume it, it surrounds us.
We worry. ‘That’s terrible,’ we say. We huddle together in fear at the outside world and scary circumstances.
We send out vibrations of that experience and more of those kind of experiences resonate and begin to happen. On a global scale we can attract the vibrations of some serious shit thanks to all those lovely laws of attraction.
Good news is, we can also attract some vibrations of some awesome good.
Good is what we want. It’s not a judgement, it’s just what each of us wants.
I said you can attract it and I mean it.
Think about it. What consumes you each day? What are you surrounded by? Stories of things getting worse?
Self fulfilling prophecies for you to enjoy.
It’s just temporary. Don’t think that because you’ve had a lifetime of bringing what you don’t want that you have to stick with it. It’s just an indicator.
Change thanks to the laws of attraction
Now you can change it. You can take control by only allowing what you want into your thoughts and into your experience. Become a creator and not just a reactor.
You could even go one step further. I had an idea on this, one of those ideas that fills me with hope.
I want us to turn off the news. I want us to globally agree to take a day off from reporting and observing what is happening in the world of circumstances. When we catalogue what is, we get more what is. Information overload.
Instead we turn off the news. We can make it a global holiday, a day away from generating vibrations of what we don’t want. Because not everyone knows how to do this and get back the control of their life.
We turn off the news, let the journalists spend some time with their families or their hobbies.
We breath in the relief of no new atrocities. We don’t experience them, they are not there.
And then the next day we fill the newspapers of stories that nothing went wrong.
Rinse and repeat until we get better at it.