In my last coaching session, my coach recommended to me that I should try meditation as a means of calming my mind and getting re-centered.
Up to now, my multitasking tendencies made it difficult to sit still for any length of time. The only brain clearing activity I used was during highly focused moments to only concentrate on ONE thing at a time, versus many. That in itself was calming to me, to be able to think solely about one thing and not get distracted by a hundred
other thoughts.
These would be activities like running or cycling. For each of these, I cannot zone out completely or else I would get messy in my technique (see my Training blog for my thoughts on how technical these physical activities really are) or I could be put in a dangerous position like riding off the road because I was daydreaming.
Piano playing is another such activity. I love it because I am focused on reinforcing muscle memory in the keys I am playing and forcing my brain to remember notes and chords while making my fingers do the actual motions. I don’t think about anything else because if my mind drifts, my playing suffers…
Earlier this year, I read a book called The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma. It talks about a person who was so consumed with his rat-race, high speed, wheeling/dealing life that he forgot everything else that was important to him. So he goes on a quest to find himself again, reaching a monastery somewhere in Asia. In it, they also talk about meditation whereby you would start a little each day, as little as 10 minutes, and build to hours if possible. The task is to concentrate on a rose and take in all its details, examining and contemplating them.
I knew at the time that I would probably never be able to sit still long enough to try this. But now my coach has given me a new book to read on this topic, A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield. I have just gotten into this book and it is quite good. I will post more about this topic later as I get through the book. However, I will note that this book is much more than just about meditation so more on this later…