*This is probably the most important part of the Basic Reset. Please find / take the time to read this article fully*
The mental health step that I get the most resistance at? Meditation. The mental health step I personally have the most resistance to? Meditation. Even though it is the tool that myself and others regard as the most important part of good mental health.
Why are we so resistant? My best guess is fear. We are afraid of the silence. We are afraid of confronting what’s inside us. We’ve spent so long pushing it down and hiding it somewhere inside that we’re scared of actually having to deal with it.
But that’s where the growth is. That’s where the change is.
You should read this article; (https://liveanddare.com/benefits-of-meditation/). It sums up 72 benefits of meditation and links to all the scholarly sources and studies they were derived from. You’re already here, you’re already taking the time to change, so if you’re not 100% on board with starting meditation today then take three more minutes and read this article, it should help convince you.
You see, this is the first step… I have to actually have you opting in. You have to want to meditate, want to see those benefits and want to change. If you don’t want it, it won’t work.
I don’t expect you to turn into a Buddhist monk today. Just like in the gym analogy, we’re going to start easy. This is basically a meditation practice to teach you how to meditate.
So during this process, we will not be using any apps like Calm or Headspace, we won’t be doing any mantras like Transcendental Meditation and we won’t be doing any other specific types of meditation like Zazen, Buddhist, Taoist, Vipassana, Mindfulness or any of the others, we will simply be doing Music Meditation. Once you’ve learned this you can take your training wheels off and explore any and all of the different variations to find one that fits with you.
The practice of Music Meditation is simple (like most meditations). You listen to music, when your mind wanders to a thought, you acknowledge the thought and then return to the music.
That’s it, there’s not much too it. But; it’s the practice that makes it work though.
Just to clarify; you will probably be shit at this to start. Everyone is. You mind will wander. A. LOT. The goal IS NOT to have a ‘clear mind’, that may be the outcome, but the goal is to simply let all your thoughts pass by each time they come up. So, each time one turns up, you acknowledge you’re having a thought, then let is pass. If it helps you can imagine each thought as a cloud in a windy sky, just let it blow across your mental field of vision.
Let’s say you are doing this for ten minutes. As a beginner, you may have 60 thoughts that you have to let pass. That’s fine. Three months practice later you may have 50 thoughts. 3 years later, 10 thoughts. Become a monk with 50 years practice, maybe one thought. You see, it’s just practice, just like working out. The monks just happen to be the NFL / All Blacks / World Cup level athletes of the mental world.
Now, to put this into practice we need to do a few things;
First up is to make a 30 minute playlist of your favourite music. Hopefully you did this when I sent through the email a few days ago.
Now, ‘favourite’ is subjective for this exercise… I need you to make a playlist of the most beautiful, soul-filling, heart-uplifting, mood-enhancing music you know. Whatever that is for you. The playlist needs to be approximately 30 minutes long (between 25-35) and it needs to be on your phone.
And like I said, we’re starting off slow… I know you thought you would be doing 30 minutes from day one, but you’re not. Today we’re starting off with 10 minutes, that’s about 2.5 songs probably.
We’ll slowly be increasing the length of the meditation to 30 minutes over the next 66 days, but today, just 10.
Now, as you’re reading this article, it could be any time of the day, so try and fit in whenever today. Tomorrow we start for real…
The best time to meditate (according to people who have been doing it for thousands of years) is the morning. Especially before you eat anything.
“But I don’t have time in the morning!” Yes you do, you’re going to get up a little bit earlier.
Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier. When you wake up, roll over, turn your phone on, put your earphones in, lie back down and listen to 10 minutes of the music that is the most beautiful to you. You can’t tell me I’m that hard on you or that’s too hard!
You are completely awake and aware. You’re listening to the music. You are just following it along… The guitar, the violin, the bass line, the drums. A THOUGHT! Oh shit I’m having a thought about my life! Hi thought, you can pass by now… Back to the piano, following that beautiful, beautiful piano along…
Do that for 10 minutes.
Congratulations! You just meditated.
And then do it all again tomorrow…