I thought I’d post about something a little off the beaten track this morning and mention a post on a blog called the basquette case titled “meditative discourse“. This post is an important reminder that it is often a very good idea to find some way to bring yourself back from the brink after hours, days and weeks of fighting at the frontlines and calm things down again before heading out to the trenches again.
A commenter asked about meditation and what my practice entails. I’ve been practicing meditation for about 12 years, off and on. Lately, and especially at the Death Star, it was essential for me to engage in some period of meditation at the start of the day, and again at the close of the day, in order to comfortably isolate the crappy part in the middle. But it’s good for so much more than that, when it’s faithfully done.
Here’s my practice: Every morning, from 5 until 5:30 or so, I sit meditation. I have a zafu – a funny half-moon shaped cushion on which I sit, which helps keep my knees down and my spine aligned. I start with some deep breathing – just observing my breath for a few minutes. I generally move into a centering exercise, where I observe my thoughts and guide them out, trying to maintain a deeper “blank slate” for a while. Sometimes I’ll engage in some chanting of a mantra (which can be anything – “Om” or “Peace” or “God” or “Love” or whatever helps center and light the spiritual fires). Next,while I’m in this state, which is quite conducive towards changing beliefs and thought patterns, and creating good stuff, I might do a little creative visualization and affirmation, working toward a specific goal, which all tend lately to be solo-practice-centered.
Of course this is not the only way to calm things down a bit. It can be a very effective method though. There are different ways you can meditate and there is a fortune of material available if you would like to learn how to meditate (one of my favourite sites is titled “Learning Meditation“). I was watching a video podcast last night and there was a panel of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs discussing keys to startup success and one of the panelists, Joe Krause of JotSpot talked about how someone he met once used to go off and pot plants after a venture and keep potting plants in his garden until the noice from his last venture faded away and he could hear the ideas for the new one in his mind.
I believe it is important to get away from it all periodically, even if it is just taking half an hour at the beginning of your day to quiet your mind and clear out the junk from the day before. Perhaps give it a try and let me know what you think?