I have a routine, sort of. This morning, I did my entire routine. In my routine, I work out on my elliptical machine for around 35 minutes (sometimes I go for a walk or play a round of golf instead), do a series of stretches, and finish with meditation for eight minutes. I don’t always do my routine. When I do, I feel good. When I don’t, sometimes I still feel good and sometimes I don’t. Right now, I feel really good.
Exercise was never part of my life until I had some health issues in early 2014. My health care team made it very clear to me that my choices were to exercise or die. Death is not my preference, so I exercise. Begrudgingly. Same thing with the stretches.
When I exercise, I usually watch science videos on my TV. I tend to watch more videos on astronomy and astrophysics than anything else. Today, I watched Age of Hubble.
I recommend meditation to audiences in my Compassionate Geek keynote speech and workshops. I’ve been an advocate of meditation since I heard Daniel Goleman’s Google talk on social intelligence. In it, he talks about Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk and well-known meditation practitioner. Hearing Goleman’s discussion about the effects of meditation on the physiology of the brain convinced me of the benefits of meditation. Additionally, my wife Janet is an active practitioner of meditation and yoga. I ran across a book called Eight Minute Meditation by Viktor Davich, which suggests that practicing meditation for eight minutes a day over a period as short as two weeks can deliver some of the benefits of meditation including a greater sense of calm. So, I meditate. Less begrudgingly than I exercise.
When I meditate, I set a time for eight minutes, sit comfortably, close my eyes, and focus on nothing but my breathing. What actually happens is that my mind processes recent events in my life and I come up with ideas such as 800 minutes of mediation. When my meditation practice is good, I’m surprised when the time is up. The more I meditate, the more often that happens.
Perhaps you’re like me in that I make plans to pursue some new way of living or being. I make them with great intentions and, as the days wear on, somehow the plans get sidetracked. There are, of course, myriad excuses for why they get sidetracked. The truth is I let them get sidetracked by my lack of commitment.
That leads me to the reason for this post and its title. While I was meditating this morning, I had the idea to commit to 100 days of meditation, eight minutes (or more) per day. With your indulgence as my reader, I’m going to write about my experience in this blog. You can bust me if I miss a day. I thought about creating a separate blog, but really, this is my blog where I share my thoughts about human relationships and endeavors. It just seems to fit.