1) Meditation reinforces a dignified, noble posture which has innumerable health benefits.
- It’s one of the few activities practiced in America for which an elegant stature is encouraged (equestrian sports and classical piano are others). When we are in good posture, our spine is efficiently supporting the weight of our skull, our lungs have room to operate, and our digestive path is not compressed.
2) I am off duty from “doing.”
- As an entrepreneur and parent of a young child, there’s always a long (glaring) list of unfinished tasks. But when I’m meditating, sitting on my cushion or just a chair if I’m traveling, I don’t have to do anything!
I should be more specific: I don’t have to act on anything that pops into my mind.
a) an overdue email
b) a drafty window
c) a seemingly unshakable feeling of dread and fear, a primordial feeling that my life has somehow gone off track and I must craft a plan to correct it.
Normally, when “c)” bubbles up, that sets into motion a whole disconnecting and dis-embodying routine where I subtly or not so subtly withdraw from the people around me for some length of time to stew amidst these dark conclusions.
But meditation is different. When I set my egg timer for 15 minutes (or less if I’m really booked) and I plant myself on my cushion, I watch – as if from a theater seat – thoughts, micro-panics, and full-fledged fantasies arise and pass.
The crucial difference is that through meditation, we gradually begin to see that what seems so viscous and real, the soupy stream of thoughts and mental chatter running through our head all day, is actually less ‘real’ than what we can feel in our body in any moment.
Across the world, contemplative traditions tell us that, through inner work, we can wake up in our lives as if from a dream. What would it be like to pursue this path in 2016? In New York City, for instance?
- Here’s an easy four week introduction click save draft to meditation with the added body benefits of the Alexander Technique, starting on January 13.
- Stay tuned for my first Google Hangout, which will take place later this month.
3) It helps my wife and I get along better! (More on this in a future post)