>Inspiring Your Authentic Week

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Inspiring Your Authentic Week

Every Day Meditation

Posted: 01 Sep 2008 01:11 AM CDT

I am not an expert on meditation nor even a particularly disciplined practitioner, but I do very much recognise the benefits and experiment with it often.

When we meditate it is a little like de-fragmenting the hard drive on your computer, getting all of your mental processes in order and helping things to run more smoothly.

I have long used an analogy that likens the neural networks in our brain to pathways in a forest. When we learn new things, it is like clearing new pathways in the forest, if we don’t use a particular knowledge or ability for some time the pathway will become overgrown.

Perhaps I can extend the analogy and describe meditation as a little like standing to one site and allowing a breeze to clear the leaves from our pathways. Perhaps that could be a mental image to meditate upon?

The reason I am not a particularly disciplined practitioner is that, like many people, I always seem to have a thousand other things calling on my time and peaceful moments are not easy to come by.

But – I see this as one of the pivotal challenges of our age. Buddha himself did not believe that enlightenment could occur within the stresses and pressures of everyday life and left his wife and young child for a contemplative lifestyle.

Today I believe that our challenge is precisely to achieve an enlightened state within a normal, working, family life. In fact the family life bit is particularly important as it creates the opportunity to give a head start to the next generation.

Our usual understanding of meditation is that it involves sitting quiet and still for extended periods or other fairly specialist practices.

However there are other meditative techniques that we can employ in the course of a normal busy day that will give us at least some of the benefits.

Meditation in Moments

Even when we are very busy, it is rare not to find moments of downtime during the day. Perhaps when traveling, perhaps when waiting for something (I frequently zone out waiting on the phone) or queuing.

Mostly what we do with those moments it we find something to distract us. Distraction has very few benefits, it is like a momentary anesthetic, it relieves the pain, but does not heal.

If instead we can grab those moments to empty and open our minds, to bring the focus to the inside, to allow the wind to rifle through one pathway each time. Then cumulatively over a day we might gain 20 or 30 minutes of meditation.

I do often stop and contemplate a view, just staring. It might be a wide expansive view of mountains or stars, or it might be a tiny view of a leaf, flower or ants at work.

Meditation in Work

Meditation while we are being pulled in different directions by work commitments or children can be more challenging.

In these situations I challenge myself to be as mindful as I possibly can be. I seek to take a position of observer on my own activities and check my actions for their lovingness.

Mostly I notice when I slip, after the event and I take note of the lesson learned. I seek to be fully conscious in those everyday stress situations, so I can be peaceful, calm and with love.

Meditation in Activity

Any repetitive activity that requires a different mental state to the norm can also provide meditation opportunities.

The key is to shift from outer to inner focus, from then to now, from they to I. To hold consciousness of your own mental activity, to observe it and be aware of it and when it drifts off, to gently bring it back in.

I can often use gardening or DIY tasks in this way. Solo sports like running, cycling or swimming can also create this space.

The repetitive action becomes the mantra and being able to focus on the repetition helps give a focus for the attention.

See how much meditation space you can create today.

The intention is to cultivate a mental state of peace and tranquility and an attitude of love that you apply to yourself and those around you.

Would you like help in breaking through to a new level?

The PIE Retreat, 10-12 October, is designed specifically to propel people to a level of learning they had not considered possible. It will awaken you to what you know to be possible but so often struggle to reach.

If you find these e-mails valuable and energising, you may like to contribute some energy to help me continue to write them. £5 per year seems like good value.

with love


neil crofts  – coach, consultant, facilitator
Authentic Transformation – join the evolution
UK mobile 07775 658534

“He who never risks going beyond his limits should not complain about the mediocrity of his existence.” Anon

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About Neil Crofts

Writer, coach and consultant on authentic business and authentic leadership. Neil has inspired and motivated hundreds organisations and thousands of individuals to their highest potential. Neil has written three published books and numerous e-books. Neil is a coach, facilitator and consultant helping people and businesses find their authentic purpose and use it to inspire and motivate them to be everything that they can be. Neil has raced cars, been self-employed, run a company and sold it, been employed by large companies, experienced growth and contraction at the heart of the dotcom boom, tried changing companies from the inside and from the outside as European Head of Strategy at internet consultancy/rock band Razorfish. Neil has been independent for over 10 years and delivered his Authentic Leadership message to a diverse range of business audiences including people at BP, Shell, Microsoft, Kraft Foods, MSN, Jamie Oliver, South Gloucestershire Council, National Blood Transfusion Service, KaosPilots Business School, Fashion company By Malene Birger, German technology company Eleven.
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