A few weeks ago I read Michael Hyatt’s blog on the subject of stillness. He was practicing beginning his day with 15 minutes of quiet meditation, clearing the mind, not thinking or praying or problem solving. Essentially 15 minutes of concentrated on nothing.
I am all about 15 minutes a day to learn or try new things. But, I was opposed to trying out this idea at first, for a couple of reasons. First, is that I just wrote a book on the subject of using your spare 15 minute blocks of time on some kind of “productive” activity; and this seemed like the opposite of that.
Second, I figured this would be a great practice for busy executive-type people that really need to relax, but I didn’t think that “I” needed it (extend the “I” out for a full second when it’s in quotes like that to show my pomposity).
My upbringing was a form of secular Quasi-Buddhist philosophy; And I already had a belief in the power of meditation and relaxation. If you take a look at all of my art projects from University of Hawaii, you will see a definite Zen influence in my work. When I became a Christian, I worried about stuff even less. I’ve had a relatively stress-free life, because I don’t worry about stuff (especially stuff like stress). So “I” (hold it) of course don’t need to practice stillness.
But then I was reading about how pride is the main thing that holds people back from self-improvement. I also just finished re-reading The Magic of Thinking Big, and there was a large section in Chapter 11 about historical figures using the power of relaxation to awaken their creative subconscious minds. So, I thought I’d give it a try.
Day 1: I set my timer for 15 minutes and just sat with my eyes closed trying not to focus on anything or think about anything. Listen inward. One thing I noticed was that it seemed like much longer than 15 minutes. Second was that it felt like I entered REM sleep for a while. I was in a dream-like state but still aware that I was sitting on the couch. Also, just like my actual dreams, I’m very aware in the present moment, but I remember very little once I wake. When the alarm went off it was a jolt to my senses (mental note: use quieter ring tone), like being roused from a dream but at the same time I was instantly alert, unlike waking from sleep.
I will be exploring this practice for the next month and see how it goes. Spending 15 minutes a day in quiet meditation is much more time-effective than golfing every weekend to relax. Also, I hate golf. More updates to follow.
Question: How do you relax when there’s no time to relax?