My alarm clock rings incessantly at 5:09am. I roll out of bed, put my two feet on the floor, and I brush my teeth. I sit in the chair in my kitchen ready for the five minutes of solace I’m about to enjoy.
I set my timer for five minutes. I sit up straight. I close my eyes. I focus on my breath. I repeat a mantra. And finally. I immediately fall back asleep until the timer wakes me up five minutes later!
This is one of two outcomes that often happens when I sit down to meditate. The other one looks like this.
I sit down in my chair later in the day, because I know I’m less likely to fall asleep. I set my timer for five minutes. I close my eyes. I focus on my breath. I repeat a mantra. And finally. I think about every single thing going on in my life until the timer saves me from the horrors of my own thoughts!
Whenever I ask people if they meditate, if the answer is no, the reason is always the same. It’s something along the lines of, “My mind is always racing. I have too much going on to think about nothing for any amount of time.”
I’m very similar. It’s taken me months to think about nothing and focus on my breath just for five minutes. So, when people give me this excuse as to why they aren’t meditating, I have nothing to say because I’m in the same boat.
But not anymore! Now I practice a new form of meditation that allows my mind to wander. I can think many thoughts freely. And best of all, I’m still getting the same benefits as traditional transcendental meditation.
Ok, I lied! What’s actually best of all is that I get to share this practice with all of you!
I recently interviewed Charlie Seraphin to uncover how he lives his life on cloud nine! Charlie comes from the corporate world, and he was the kind of busy guy who had no time for meditation.
However, Charlie spent a few months living at a monastery, and everything changed. While he still struggled with the more traditional style of meditation, the monks taught him another form of peaceful thinking. This style promotes letting your thoughts flow and it encourages creativity and storytelling. The methodology is as follows.
1. Make sure you’re outside
This form of meditation requires you to be outside so that you can hear the sounds going on in the world. Being in nature is an important part of this process because it allows us to appreciate the simplicity and the beauty of everything around us.
2. Take a seat, and keep your eyes open
After finding a place to sit, one of the key differences here is that you want to keep your eyes open. You want to see the beauty around you. You want to visualize the stories you are about to tell. Closing your eyes can be daunting and even lead to sleepiness, so this certainly helps with that!
3. Focus on the furthest away sound
As you listen to everything around you, try to pick up on what you believe is coming from the furthest distance away. Then hone in on that one sound.
4. Let your mind tell a story
Once you have chosen a particular sound, then comes the fun part. As you listen to this sound, maybe it’s a bird. Maybe it’s a plane. Maybe it’s a construction site. Whatever it is, begin to craft a story.
Where is this plane coming from? Where are these birds going? Who are these construction workers? Allow your brain to think whatever it wants and create the most ludicrous, irrational, and complex story you can possibly imagine for the next five minutes!
5. Smile at what you’ve created
Realize that this exercise was intentionally meant for your mind to let go of its parameters. Be grateful for what you achieved. Smile.
Pulling It All Together
I take a step outside into the brisk fall air. I walk around the corner to some steps. I take a seat on the steps. I keep my eyes open. I listen. There are a couple of birds nearby, but in the distance, I can hear a fire truck racing down the streets of Manhattan.
Mrs Krasinski left the oven on again, and she fell asleep! Her five-year-old grandson recently learned about calling 911 when something seems wrong. He picked up the phone and told the emergency operators it smelled strange in the house. They asked him where he lived. With pride, he gave them his address. The dispatcher phoned the fire department and they were on their way. They arrived at the house and turned the oven off just in time. After waking up Mrs Krasinski, one firefighter took off his hat and gave it to her grandson. The boy had the biggest grin on his face.
I take a deep breath, and I smile. My thoughts are still going, but my mind is at ease.
Everyone has moments of pure meaning and fulfilment
To find out what they are for some of the most wonderful people from all around the world, join my email list.