In today’s rapid descent into a society that is obsessed with money, productivity, and consuming whatever we have to in order to achieve maximum returns, a few wise people are looking for a smarter method to improve the way they contribute to the world and what they get out of it.
Most people are running through life so fast that they will never once stop and listen to the wind. So they will leave behind a wake of excessive consumption, greed, and envy, all they while tiring themselves out to make someone else rich, as they try desperately to keep their head above water, financially, mentally, emotionally, and most importantly, spiritually.
And sure, its easier to gulp down an energy drink and a sloppy cheeseburger to fuel your afternoon, as you speed down the highway of life, but this is a vicious cycle that needs to be broken with active, conscious thought.
Begin With Mindfulness
I meet people every day who come to me with their concerns and complaints, and how their efforts to achieve a better life are all in vain. Naturally, because I’m a meditation teacher, I try my best to explain the pipeline of benefits that they can experience if they start an ascent into the world of meditation and mindfulness.
What is the most significant obstacle to this path of enlightenment?
The answer is always the same: “Yeah I’d like to, but how can I do it with ‘minimal invasiveness’?
Minimal Invasiveness sums up the overall concerns people have with not having enough time or energy to begin meditating. At first, I grappled with this concept, trying to teach my students, and potential students, that the benefits of starting a meditation practice far outweigh the simple practice and the time it takes to do it. But this never seemed to work and it never gained traction.
I began thinking: what is a small way to make a major impact? How can I work harmoniously with this obstacle, and like a surgeon, explain to the patient that this opportunity of meditation is the smartest, safest, fastest way to achieve maximum results? This was a daunting task at first, but the more I convinced students that it would be far better to limit yourself to just one minute of meditation a day, the more advantages I noticed.
People questioned my solution. How can anything change in a minute? However, an intense and interesting thing happens. In that one minute, the student will feel an opportunity for exchange. I ask each student if there was one thing he or she could trade in your life, for another, what would it be? For some, it’s trading an angry boss for running his or her own business. For others it’s, trading an old, beaten down car for a new sports car. But whatever it is, focusing on that one trade for that one minute allows your mind to concentrate its energy like a laser.
Eventually the student realizes what I like to call collateral success. By that I mean, it kick-starts a chain reaction of other thoughts, mostly beneficial, mostly opportunistic. Soon enough, the student realizes, ‘well why don’t I meditate for 3 minutes instead of 1?’ And later, ‘why don’t I meditate for 5 minutes instead of 3?’ and so on, and so on. And as you increase your minutes, you also increase your trades.
How Can I Start?
Simply focus your mind on what problems you would like to trade out of your life, and what solutions you would like to attract, in exchange for that trade. Don’t focus on the how. Simply focus on the what. As you move through your day, you will notice that your brain will automatically try to submit to this powerful input of software. Eventually, students begin to learn that they are now gliding throughout their day, and they no longer have to meditate more, and instead they want to meditate more.
And that my friends, is the benefit of a meditation practice that involves minimal invasiveness.
Jayesh Patel is a meditation teacher, and the founder of Zen Advancement®