“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It’s a way of entering into the quiet that’s already there – buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.”

-Deepak Chopra

In meditation, in flow or both?

In meditation, in flow or both?

In this Flow Nugget I explain what meditation is and why some people find it useful or transformative.

I believe that meditation is the most powerful practice anyone can embark on. In my personal life meditation (perhaps) more than anything has led me closer to my full potential. Even though there are many styles and traditions, we should not get confused. The goal of all methods remains the same: to connect with yourself, a deeper part of yourself.

My intention with this Flow Nugget is simply to highlight meditation as a tool I have used, and many have used with fantastic results. This is the first in a mini-series in which I will go deeper into this path.

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Flow Quotes

  • “Meditation is a systematic training method for the mind. Over time, through consistent practice we actually change the neurological profile of the brain”
  • “Apparently we think 50,000-90,000 thoughts a day.. and apparently 90% of the thoughts we have are the same ones we had yesterday. In other words, our thinking minds are not as useful, creative or purposeful as we might like to think.”

Useful Links

An amazingly thorough list of many of the scientific studies done into meditation and its effects on the brain and peak performance. Thanks to Giovanni Deintsmann

-I have some guided meditations you are welcome to listen to here http://www.jirotaylor.com/guided-meditations

Full transcript

Meditation is a systematic training method for the mind. Over time, through consistent practice we actually change the neurological profile of the brain. Some parts will grow, others will shrink. Some parts will start to communicate better with others. I know this sounds crazy, but its true.

Meditation is also a spiritual practice. Yes, I said the “S” word. When I say “spiritual” I am simply referring to the essence of who we all are, beyond our thoughts. You know when your head is thinking one thing, but your heart is feeling another? That voice of intuition is what I’m talking about. So in that context, meditation is the spiritual practice of connecting with your heart, your intuition or your instincts.

Apparently we think 50,000-90,000 thoughts a day.. and apparently 90% of the thoughts we have are the same ones we had yesterday. In other words, our thinking minds are not as useful, creative or purposeful as we might like to think. Our thinking mind can run riot, and have a negative impact on our life, if uncontrolled.

A great analogy for this comes from Plato.

He said that the mind of man is a ship on which all the sailors have mutinied and locked the captain in the hold. The sailors believe they are free and they steer the ship as they feel like in each moment… first one then another. The ship is erratic and directionless. The sailors cannot agree on a goal, nor can they navigate.

Plato said that the task of a human being is to free the captain and quell the mutiny. This is how to achieve real freedom. But putting down this mutiny does not happen overnight. It takes years of hard work. The sailors reject discipline and avoid it. Our minds use sleepiness, boredom, over-thinking, fidgeting and many other techniques to avoid being disciplined.

When we think about what Deepak Chopra and Plato have said, it becomes clearer how sitting quietly for a few minutes each day can have such an accumulative effect. By being still and turning attention inward, we connect with part of ourselves (the captain/navigator/ intuition/ heart/ higher self/true self/ soul) that has so much to do with our full human potential.

Our intuition, zest for life, our capacity to love, our ability to feel connected to other living beings all comes from tapping into this place. This is what I mean by unleashing our full human potential.

So, meditation does not need to be a mystical practice. It does not involve shutting down your mind or stopping thoughts.  Meditation is simply about being yourself and knowing something about who that is. It is about realising that you are on a path whether you like it or not- the path of your life.

Now for a simple practice, just become aware of your breathing. You can be standing, sitting, laying down… whatever. Just turn your attention to your breath, and notice whatever you notice.

Take 3 deep breaths, and allow yourself to focus your attention on the sensations of the breathing.

Stay tuned for followup Nuggets to this Meditation Series