I’ve owned my “iPhone-esque” phone for a little over a year. Prior to that I had a “flip phone”—yes a flip phone. There was no internet service on the flip phone. Heck I was disappointed when I got the flip phone and it had voice-mail! I didn’t want to be bothered! Fast forward a year and a half later and I’ve acquired a new habit of looking up literally every question I have. Stop the madness!
The focus of meditation is to be still while letting your thoughts drift by your awareness like clouds drifting by in the sky. The point is not to become attached to the thought and to stay present. For those of you that have a regular meditation practice—be it 5 minutes or hours long—you know how easily your mind wanders, even for the experienced meditator.
Being able to continually bring your mind back to your mantra, your breath, your prayer, your focus—whatever you are using to “be here now”, is meditation. This practice increases your life skills to stay focused without getting your feathers ruffled when life throws you a curve ball, and it will! It will keep you calm when, in the past, you were quick tempered.
Recent research indicates mindfulness meditation is linked with positive brain changes, perhaps protecting you from mental illness, decreasing stress, slowed aging, increased alertness, lowered blood pressure, reduced pain perception and intensity—need I go on? The physical, mental, and spiritual benefits from a dedicated meditation practice are many, to say the least. One of my favorite sayings is “if it gives you only half of what it promises, it’s worth doing, right?”
It dawned on me that the urge to answer every question is similar to the tendency to attach to every thought during your meditation practice. This week I decided to use the weekend to begin NOT answering every question using Google—to allow for unanswered questions and be okay with that, like the “old days”.
How much time do you think you’ll gain by allowing unanswered questions to remain unanswered? Did someone connect with me on Facebook? How many hits did my recent post get? Where do I know that particular movie-star from? Who sang that song? Is that person still alive? How old is he or she? Where did that saying come from? How long ago did that show run? When will that show be back in season? What does this pain or symptom mean? How much does that type of product cost? When? What? How? Where? The list is endless. Yes—STOP THE MADNESS!
Leave some questions unanswered. I mean, you may want to know when the clocks “spring forward”, or when Easter is this year, or if the restaurant you are on the way to is open this early. Some questions are helpful and necessary. Many, and dare I say most, are not—at least in my humble opinion.
Think you don’t have time to meditate? Turn this practice of leaving questions unanswered into your daily meditation. Notice the urge to look something up and ask if you really need to know that right now. You may just open up enough time to start a more formal meditative practice, if that’s what your goal is; and I suspect if you’re reading this section of my newsletter, it just might be.
If you found the above interesting, please consider taking my meditation “how to” classes. Visit my Web-site, www.betterdayyoga.com, for details.