Yesterday I led a session with our Coaches on our fifth Fundamental: Be Present. (Preceded by Eat + Move + Sleep + Breathe and to be followed by Prosper.)
It was nearly four hours of awesome. A couple hours of presentation and then a couple more hours of Q&A.
As I wrapped up my day, I made a note to write a +1 about one of the ideas we discussed in that session: The 5 D’s of Meditation.
Then, this morning I had a surprise visitor during my morning meditation. As I finished my first 11 minutes of meditation, I heard a little tap tap tap on my office door—which is unusual as the family usually gets up well after I’ve been hammering Deep Work.
I got up, opened the door and got to see my beautifully beaming son decked out in his striped pajamas eager to hang out before the girls got up. (Hah.)
I let him know I was in the middle of my meditation and asked if he’d like to sit on my lap and cuddle and join me. To my great delight, he accepted my invitation. I handed him the pearl I was holding during that session and he put the meditation blanket around him as he sat on my lap quietly for the last 15 minutes or so of my meditation.
That was the first time we’ve meditated like that since he was so small he’d fit in a wrap on my chest. It was awesome.
Which leads us to the point of Today’s +1: The 5 D’s of Meditation.
Stepping back for a moment…
The sub-title of our “Be Present” session was “An 80/20 Look at How to Focus Your Soul Force on the Only Moment That Matters.”
We talked about the fact that, basically, EVERYTHING we ever do together is to get us Energized and ready to be our Optimus best RIGHT NOW. We also talked about the fact that all we ever truly have is RIGHT.THIS.SECOND so… We’d be wise to give this moment our best, etc., etc., etc.
After chatting about some other high-level stuff, we moved into three practices to train our presence. The first was all about Digital Minimalism and The Smartphone Effect. The second was all about Meditation. (The third practice was about cultivating one-pointed attention by Doing One Thing at a Time.)
We have a whole class on Meditation 101, but for the purposes of that session (and this +1!), I boiled down the essence of Meditation into 5 D’s. Without further adieu, here they are.
1. Do it with
2. Dignity and a
3. Defined anchor with strong
4. Determination then
5. Do it again.
The first most obvious rule of meditation? DO IT!!! At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter WHAT you do (or how you do it) but THAT you do it.
After picking your flavor of meditation, do it with DIGNITY. I love Jon Kabat-Zinn’s wisdom on the subject. Wonder how to sit? Sit with dignity. You and Optimus, sitting nice and tall (spine straight!) yet relaxed.
Then we want to DEFINE OUR ANCHOR. What does a ship out at sea do when it wants to stay in the same spot? It drops an anchor, right? Well, same with us. We need an anchor on which to focus our attention. It can be your breath, a mantra, a prayer, or whatever you’d like. But… DEFINE the anchor. Then, when your mind inevitably (!) wanders, just say, “Oh, well” and get back to your chosen focus.
Once we decided to do it with dignity and a defined anchor, we’d be wise to do it with DETERMINATION. Specifically, STRONG DETERMINATION. I got that phrase from SN Goenka during one of his organization’s 10-day silent meditation retreats. Basic idea: Once you commit to a time, set your timer then assume your posture then resolve not to open your eyes, your hands or your legs for the duration of your session. Feel an itch on your nose? Ignore it. Curious how much longer you have to go? Forget about it. Legs feeling weird? Unless something’s truly wrong, ignore it. That’s strong determination.
Today’s meditation is complete. Fantastic. Congratulations.
The fifth D? Do it again tomorrow.
The 5 D’s of Meditation.
Do it with Dignity and a Defined anchor with strong Determination then Do it again.
That’s Today’s +1.
How’s YOUR meditation?
(Btw: That meditation with Emerson? Once he joined me on my lap, my anchor changed from a mantra to him and the top of his head. I got all misty-eyed appreciating just how beautiful he is and how lucky I am to be his Father.)