The Best Way to Meditate
The most effective meditation habit consists of a
20-minute session in the morning and a 20-minute session at night.
Morning Method Overview:
20 minutes breaks down into four 5-minute chunks, which are each used differently to maximize value from the exercise.
0 – 5 minutes: Counting practice to focus and center awareness
6 – 10 minutes: Visualize your Best, most Masterful Self
11 – 15 minutes: Visualize your Future, most Actualized Self
16 – 20 minutes: Visualize your Highest, most Connected Self
Closing Intention: Alignment and Integrity
*The app, Insight Timer, has a timer function which you can add bells to every 5 minutes to help you keep track of the time without having to open your eyes.
Morning Meditation Details:
0-5 minutes: Take slow, deep breaths, and focus only on counting from 1 to 10.
Inhale 1, exhale 1, inhale 2, exhale 2, and so on. When you get to 10 (read: IF you get to 10), start over at 1 and continue until the first 5 minutes is up. If you realize you’ve stopped counting and started thinking about upcoming bills or travel destinations from Instagram, restart the counting at 1. It really helps to visualize the 1 on the inhale looking a certain way and having a specific color, and then the 1 on the exhale would have a different color and a different look to it.
Focusing on the details of the numbers improves your overall focus. For example, the inhale of every number would be white and have very soft edges with a plain look, whereas the exhale numbers can take on a vibrant royal blue color and a more refined and sharp look. For me, that visual of turning very plain numbers into a more aesthetically pleasing version symbolizes that with every breath, I can take something ordinary in my life and make it into a masterpiece.
We count at the beginning of every meditation because meditation is all about being able to focus your mind on what you choose, and this skill pays dividends throughout your life as you grow stronger in it.
5:01 – 10 minutes: Visualize your Best, Most Impeccable, Most Masterful Self.
For me, that involves eating healthy foods, being active and moving my body, reading intellectually stimulating books, investing into my relationships, finding joy through the novel challenges of work and business. My best self is someone who doesn’t get emotionally charged upon hearing something negative. My best self is someone who spends money wisely and seeks opportunities.
10:01 – 15 minutes: Visualize your Future, Most Actualized Self.
Who will you be in 1 years time when you're diligent about being your most impeccable and masterful self day in and day out over the course of the year? What about in 5 years? 10 years? Will you be living in a house on the beach? Will you be the most respected expert in your industry? What does your family situation look like? Use these 5 minutes to visualize in as much detail as possible what you want to create for yourself in the future. Maybe you’re debt free and have multiple income streams. Maybe you work from home. Maybe you’re traveling the world and your passport is covered in stamps from other countries. Maybe ALL Of this?!
Whatever it is for you, this is the time when you want to see yourself as actually living it, standing in the future. What does it look like, feel like, sound, smell, and taste like? The more detail you can incorporate, the more likely you are to bring your future to life.
15:01 – 20 minutes: Visualize your Highest, Most Connected Self.
This one has the potential to be the most ‘woo-woo’, but at its core, we’re talking about the fact that you are intimately connected with the entire history of the universe and every other being on the planet. It’s a bit different for everyone, but the point is to meditate on your highest and most connected self. I start off imagining the Big Bang billions of years ago and all of the energy in the universe exploding rapidly in all directions. As all the particles are flying through space, and over billions of years, some of the energy turns into matter and clumps together to form asteroids and some are large enough to be planets – some of them gaseous, some of them solid, some of them giants of hot plasma. As all these bodies are flying through space, some of them start to collide with others and some of them start to revolve around each other.
On one tiny little rock circling a mediocre sized ball of fire, tiny cellular beings form and simply replicate themselves for hundreds of millions of years. One day, there was a mistake in the genetic copy from one being to the next, and from there these beings started to take on widely diverse forms over the course of the next hundreds of millions of years. Animals come and go and natural disasters happen constantly. One day an asteroid hits the earth and most life forms disappear. And then the remaining beings continue to repopulate the earth until one day the homo genus enters the scene. At least six types of man walked the earth simultaneously hundreds of thousands of years ago while all lived hunter-gatherer type lifestyles. Homo sapiens is the only one that is still around and happened to go through a cognitive revolution that allowed us to create agriculture, politics, industry, and technology. It allowed us to create an interconnected world where we communicate with people on the other side of the globe in a matter of seconds. The food I buy at the store comes from all over the world and has touched hands of many different cultures, gone through several businesses supply-chains, is cooked with technology from Asia and eaten along with an episode of Netflix streamed instantaneously from a server farm on the west coast by way of satellites in space.
I then go on to think about how each of my words and actions will impact other people’s lives today and what they will go on to do or say to others based on what I bring to the interaction. For example, being curious about a friend’s day puts them in a good mood because they feel loved and supported, which gives them a little boost of confidence as they go throughout their day when they happen to run into a cute stranger, who happens to become the love of their life, and their kid happens to create a cure for cancer and that cure is patented by a socially conscious company who uses its profits to help the environment, and ultimately our ozone is saved from near-certain destruction.
This is just how I think about the connectedness of myself to history, to future, and to everyone else on the planet. But the idea is for you to visualize what helps you get most connected to your highest self.
When I finish my 20 minutes, I will end with an intention to start my day on the right foot.
“Today, let my thoughts be loving and kind, let them be light, let them be present and engaged, intrigued and curious, optimistic, let them see the best in myself and in others, and let them at the very least do no harm to myself or anyone else.
Let my words today be loving and kind, let them by light. Let them be articulate and eloquent, let them have an alluring cadence. Let my words be supportive and motivational. Let them be the words others need to hear, not the words I need to say, and let them at the very least do no harm to myself or anyone else.
Let my actions today be loving and kind, and let them be light. Let my actions be open, warm, and welcoming. Let them be calm, confident, and courageous. Let them be exemplary, supportive, and motivational. Let them at the very least do no harm to myself or anyone else.
Today, let my thoughts, words, and actions be aligned with one another so that what I do, what I say, and what I think are all aligned with each other and aligned with my best self, my future self, and my highest self.
Aham Brahmasmi. Namaste.
(I am one with the universe. The light and love in me recognizes the light and love in the world.) "
Founder and Performance Coach @ STRIVENT
"Actualize your Potential!"
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