by Kristoffer Carter, Founder of This Epic Life
“I have so much to do today, I must find more time to meditate.” – Gandhi
The goal of meditation is to dissolve the layers of static between your conscious mind (ego) and your higher self (pure consciousness). You do this by shutting off the thinking mind while maintaining alert awareness within the body. Most people find it impossible to switch off their monkey minds.
Start off by taking it in small time segments. If you were marathon training you wouldn’t run 10 miles the first day, right?
The first time I meditated successfully I was only able to find gaps between my thoughts for a minute or two. The goal is to simply silence the screen of the mind. Following the steps below will get you there.
- Find a calm, quiet place with as few distractions as possible
- Sit in a comfortable chair, or in a comfortable position on the floor
- Place your hands with palms facing up, either on each knee or where your trunk meets your thighs. This will keep your neck and shoulders relaxed. You’ll often see yogis or Buddhists making an “OK” mudra with their hands. The hands are a conduit for energy, and can be positioned like a circuit or antenna. Make sure your spine is completely erect, like an antennae in the receiving position. This is also critical to keeping you awake and alert.
- Your goal is to hear only silence, so if you can’t do that in the space you’re in, you’ll need some white noise to zone out to. I used The Sounds of The Ocean CD on my train rides in Chicago. Load your iPod or phone with some different options. Make a playlist called “meditation.”
- Your goal should be minimum of 10-15 minutes, ideally first thing in the morning. Your mind is most likely to be quiet at this time. Carve out this time before you start thinking about feeding the cat, or your kids, or your drive to work, etc. But start small. 1-2 minutes is great. 5 minutes? Even better. My Free 30-Day Challenge aims at getting you up to 15 minutes every single day.
- Close your eyes and picture yourself seated in an empty iMax theater. You’re seated dead center in the middle aisle, so the screen wraps above, below, and all around you. It’s the full view of your consciousness. Every passing thought is an image on the screen. Now start on the left side, and just wipe the whole thing to clean white.
- Whenever another thought surfaces, delete it. Don’t judge yourself or get into a conversation with your ego about why you’re thinking what you are. That’s the ego’s way of keeping you locked in the unconscious state. Don’t engage.
- Within a few minutes of pure white, quiet focus, you’ll start feeling your own
presence. Sometimes I’ll get swells of goosebumps, or a body buzz. Once you get to that deep place, stay there for as long as possible. Try to not focus on where you are on “the clock”.
- As you exit the meditation, express some gratitude. You just completed
a foundational act of showing up for yourself!
- I can’t express how important it is that you train yourself to do repeat this every single day, no excuses. The monks whom counsel me on my own practice constantly remind me that meditation isn’t so much about the duration, as it is the consistency of your practice.
The key difference between people who live marginally fulfilling, yet stressful lives, and those who live extraordinarily successful, happy (BEAMING) lives, is in their ability to tap into their deeper reserves. We need to create the discernment necessary to navigate our lives toward the signals, and not the static.
Your investment of time and effort in meditation is never wasted, because it’s the best we can do to maximize this discernment, and self-compassion.
Don’t wait! Get started now and create a lifelong habit.
About KC. Aside from being obsessed with Beaming juices and Superfoods, Kristoffer Carter (“KC”) uses guided meditation rooted in timeless teachings to enhance lives, and business cultures. A kriyaban yogi with Self-Realization Fellowship, KC also leads retreats for the Good Life Project™ with Jonathan Fields. Business Insider recently covered KC’s technology-free “radical sabbaticals”. You can find his full-life integration manifesto The Framework as well as free video trainings and guided meditations at www.thisepiclife.com.