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Why Meditation Has Failed You

Why Meditation Has Failed You

The lotus positions, the chanting, the mudras, the breathing—it has all infiltrated the public mainstream.

Human beings are enamored with form. But form is simply the silhouette of function.

As with all things in life, sincerity is the lifeblood of transformation. When you sit in a pose that you believe to be correct, are you being sincere? Do you believe that taking ten or twenty minutes out of your day to meditate will bring about some miraculous change in you?

Has it worked?

Such things rarely work.

And the reason is because they are pursued and perceived as events that are independent of your daily existence. There is a period of time that you spend meditating. And then there is another (larger) period of time that you spend living your life. And as long as these remain separate, meditation will simply be a daily routine among others.

If all you seek is a bit of calmness. Or modicum of stress relief. Or a taste of mock spirituality—

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Then, by all means, carry on.

But if you seek transformation—

If you seek bliss—

Drop meditation!

And become meditative!

When you drive your car, when you do your work, when you wash the dishes, when you put on your clothes, when you brush your teeth, when you slip on your shoes—

Be Meditative.

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What do I mean by being Meditative?

Water is a beautiful example of a meditative element. If you pour it into a container, it conforms to the shape of the container. It does not resist the rock. It simply flows over and around it. It is meditative because it gives itself entirely to the situation in which it finds itself. And by giving itself to everything, and resisting nothing, it encounters no conflict. No trepidation.

Be Meditative. Lose yourself in the act that you are carrying out.

When you brush your teeth, feel the rhythm of the strokes. When you put on your clothes, feel the texture of the fabric. When you make the bed, snap the sheet and watch it ripple. When you drive to work, feel the rolling sensation as your car accelerates down the hill. When you do your work, watch the hands as they caress the slippery black keys on the keyboard.

Allow it all to be a dance. And your life will be one as well.

In doing this, you will have no need to meditate. For your very life will be a meditation.

In doing this, you will venture beyond your mind and become available to instinct. And when your work is carried out by the hand of instinct, it will be a masterpiece.

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There is no need to go to an ashram, a church, or a temple. Or for silent retreats. Or for holy books or sermons.

Such things are for those in search of prescriptions. An antidote. A smoky, green potion. Such things are for those who are looking to be shown The Way. Such things are for those enamored by form.

They are not for the serious. They are not for the sincere. For, if you are sincere, you will drop the words of others and take matters into your own hands.

And you will not do so when the time is right. You will not do so when the moon is in a particular orbit. Or when your sensibilities are ripe. Or when you feel a sudden urge.

You will do so right. This. Minute.

You will drop this side-job, this hobby, this concept of ten minutes of daily meditation.

And you will become Meditative.

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Why would you possibly have the need for these glossy magazine subscriptions if your very life is a masterful example of that which they espouse? Of what use is meditation to a person whose very life is a meditation?

In becoming Meditative, you will not be acquiring things. But losing them.

In becoming Meditative, you will not become more. But less.

You will float not toward somethingness. But nothingness.

In becoming Meditative, you will lose yourself.

And in losing the self that you have forever believed yourself to be, you will find the one you have been searching for all along.

Featured photo credit: Nickolai Kashirin via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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