Neuroscience Of Meditation: How To Make Your Mind Awesome, by Eric Barker
Eric Barker stashed this in Diabolical Plans For World Domination
Here’s how to meditate:
- Get comfortable. But not so comfortable you’re gonna fall asleep. This ain’t naptime.
- Focus on your breath. You can think “in” as your breath goes in and “out” as your breath goes out if it helps you focus.
- Label Lefty. When Lefty brings the circus to town in your head, use a word to label his chatter and dampen it.
- Return to the breath. Over and over. Consistency is more important than duration. Doing 2 minutes every day beats an hour once a month.
What makes us happier than almost anything else? The research is pretty clear: relationships.
But winning the war with Lefty is so internal, right? It’s all about you. (And him, I guess… But he is you… So it’s still about you.) Does that mean meditation and mindfulness are hopelessly selfish and self-absorbed?
Nope. What’s one of the biggest complaints we hear from those we love — especially in the age of smartphones? “You don’t pay enough attention to me.”
And here’s where that meditation-honed attention muscle pays off. You can give them the focus they deserve. When you don’t have to spend most of the day hearing that chatterbox in your head, you can truly listen to the people you care about.
Daniel Siegel explains that those attention skills can powerfully improve relationships with those you love by an increased ability to empathize.
From The Mindful Brain:
Our relationships with others are also improved perhaps because the ability to perceive the nonverbal emotional signals from others may be enhanced and our ability to sense the internal worlds of others may be augmented… In these ways we come to compassionately experience others’ feelings and empathize with them as we understand another person’s point of view.
Spend a little time focusing on your breath every day and you can replace Lefty’s voice with the voice of those you love.