"Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits."
Self-Reflection Made Easy
The most long-lasting and powerful way to develop deep personal insights is through self-reflection, finding quiet time you can set aside to think or just be for a few minutes.
This is easier said than done in our fast-paced, information-heavy, overly-busy modern world. Why would you spend valuable time doing nothing?
Here are a few reasons:
Down time is incredible, but difficult for many to incorporate into their lives. And though I'm being light-hearted, I'm very serious about how it can improve your day-to-day life. This is why I want to make it easier to practice regularly.
Meditation, Journaling & Group Dialog
Over the last few months, I've been testing what I'm calling the "Insight Club." Nine motivated and interested people have helped me to develop a forum for self-reflection, including meditation, journaling, and group dialog.
Starting today, I'm opening it up to everyone. Go here to join.
The Insight Club includes:
This is entirely FREE!
Self-reflection can't be bought, but it doesn't come cheap in terms of effort. It requires a little work on your part. You have to show up!
I started this to make it easier for you to start. So you have a place to go. I'm inviting you into my personal practice. It's completely up to you how much you put into it.
You can join any time and partake in any part of the Club, though the benefits of being "all in" will open up parts of yourself you didn't know were there, and you will discover creativity, productivity, and resilience.
Try it for 2 weeks. Sign up here and you'll receive a "How To" guide with dial-in information and details about the journaling to get you started.
What participants have gotten out of the Insight Club
"The hum on the phone is audible, I can feel everyone meditating with me!"
"I have a better perspective on others and myself. I journal every so often during the week, but feel like I'm more aware of my blind spots.
"I don't know what's blocking me sometimes, and this gives me clarity."
Now it's your turn: What's stopping you from taking 5-10 minutes out of your day to sit or think? If you are too busy, then in fact, are you too busy? How can you develop a routine or a toolkit to reflect on your day?
Learn more about the Insight Club and try it out to see if it works for you. At the least, you'll learn something you can practice on your own.
Finding Time To Meditate
There's a zen parable about a young man who asks his teacher, "Should I study or meditate, since I only have one free hour left after my work and chores?" It's a tough question for the zen teacher because it asks him support one worthy discipline over another. But the teacher quickly responds, "Meditate, then you'll discover that you have more than one free hour in the day."
Meditation Is Not An Activity
Seeking an end result from meditation is falsely approaching it the same way you would approach any another activity; in order to get something, whereas meditation is exactly about who you are NOW. It's focus is just to be, not to be something else.
Meditation is a continuous exploration. It is a process of self-examination, of personal evolution. It has no end. Rather, it is continuous in the same way a moment is forever continuous. When "meditation" and the "moment" are in sync, you are completely present and not concerned with pursuing an "activity."
Meditating On The Why
By asking yourself the "why", you have already begun the process of meditation. Meditation is a constant, not just relegated to sitting on the floor every morning. Albert Low, a teacher at the Montreal Zen Center in Rivière-des-Prairies, puts it aptly:
“Meditation is not a technique. It’s an inquiry. You don’t do it in order that something else is accomplished. The very act of doing it means an enrichment, one’s life is enriched not as a consequence of the technique but of the fact of the inquiry itself.”
Next time you berate yourself for not making time to meditate, stop and re-consider why you want to meditate and why you can't find time. By doing so, you will start down a road of self-understanding that you can meditate on.