Yoga Instructor: Breathe in through your nose … breathe out through your nose.
Me: (thinking) in through my nose … out through my … this is interesting, I am going to do this when I get back to New York … wait … I should pay attention … in through my nose … out through … I can’t believe how much pee an elephant has, it was like turning on a faucet …
Yoga Instructor: Breathe in through your nose … breathe out through your feet.
Me: (thinking) in through my nose …. out through my feet … in through my … can’t wait till breakfast, they always have a nice selection here … I wonder how they choose what goes on the menu … wait … I should be concentrating on my breathing … in through nose, out through feet … how interesting that I am feeling something coming out of my feet … I still can’t believe they gave me a foot massage last night without washing my feet first … nasty …
Yoga Instructor: Breathe in through your nose … breath out through your body.
And the pattern continues. I begin thinking about my breathing but then I get distracted. What’s frustrating is I don’t even notice my mind wander until it’s been at it for some time.
After the yoga session, I decided to ask my yoga instructor about this issue. He went on to explain that the mind is like a wild horse that needs to be tamed. When it goes off course, you must reign it back in. Through practice, you will be able to fully control your mind and meditation is the taming of your mind.
I thought this was a very fitting analogy and I am currently learning more about and beginning to practice meditation. My mind tends to get distracted when I am working on my projects and I will be more productive if I can increase my concentration.
People perceive multitasking as being efficient but research has shown that multitasking actually reduces productivity. If someone is doing two complex tasks, there is actually no such thing as multitasking. That person is toggling between the two activities and not doing them simultaneously as the word multitasking would imply.
Normally I would have finished the last paragraph in a minute or two but because I am watching an octopus attacking a diver on tv (Caught on Camera 2 – Into the Deep) in my hotel room, it is taking about 10 minutes. I had to constantly find my train of thought by reading over what I just wrote.
Recently, I have been working on my focus and I believe that the next step for me is to tame my mind. I plan to do so by:
1. Meditating for 10 minutes every day after I wake up
2. Learn more about meditation and mindfulness
I will use a very simple meditation program by first concentrating on my breathing and to catch my mind wandering so I can reign it back in to concentrate on my breathing.
Feel free to share your methods or thoughts on meditation and the taming of the mind.
Robert Chen is the founder of Embrace Possibility and author of The Dreams to Reality Fieldbook. He helps people who feel stuck move forward by guiding them to see other possibilities for their lives. He specializes in working with high performers get to the next level. If you're going through a tough time right now, check out Robert's article on How to Feel Better Right Away and if you're having trouble getting what you want out of life, check out How to Always Achieve Your Goals.
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