TRAINING THE BRAIN ONE MOMENT AT A TIME
That's all you need.
The idea that you need frequency, length and doop levels of mind training to benefit from any moments where you find time to stop, breathe rhythmically and turn your attention into your mind is to experience something different.
Its not big.
its a start.
There is not a single person I know and I suspect that you are one of them that have not reflected in some way on their past life experiences.
Staring out of a train window watching the world go by or, one of my favourites, looking out across the countryside with your elbows resting on the farm gate with a good friend chewing the cud weighing regret against pleasure.
And similarly for your life experiences to come as you contemplate your future in them.
A future which may not be what you expected it to be.
And when do you find time for you?
On your own. Somewhere quiet and private?
Where you won’t be disturbed for a few minutes?
Somewhere to sit upright in a comfortable position.
Relax, close your eyes and breathe slowly.
Well, if you get this far, did you know you could use simple meditation techniques that improve attention and concentration and bring about calm.
Pretty quickly as it happens.
And the fastest results come from a a short period of rhythmical breathing.
Just 5 minutes will help to reduce your heart rate.
You don’t have to think about it - you should be able to feel it.
And while half of adults in the UK believe that meditation is good for mental health, the truth of the matter is that practising meditation takes up time.
Lots of it. It requires discipline and diligence.
And it can be painful to sit in the same position for 20 mins.
If you go to classes you have to pay for it too. And to get there and back.
All this is ok if you wish to immerse yourself into the formal practice of whatever meditation method you end up with.
A greater investment in time is needed for most types of meditation and the benefits are longer lasting - that is true.
But if you don’t have the time and or the disposition to get more seriously involved - then mindtime may be for you.
As moments in time is all we have.
Those aqlways brief moments of happiness for example, as we search in vain for a permanent solution to its absence.
mindtime is the name I have given to encourage people to find more of it.
So lets see if mindtime - a reduced time to practice easy to do mind exercises can provide benefits.
And if so - what are they?
All meditators sit and they all breathe.
So do you.
But you don’t sit as long nor breathe as slowly.
Well, you can sit for shorter moments in time of 5 minutes.
And you can slow your breathing down from your normal 15-20 times a minute - (3 second breaths) - to 10 times a minute (around 5/6 second breaths).
So, you have just found a moment on your own and you are in your kitchen. Sit up straight square to the table. Stretch your arms out a little and p lace both open hands down on the table in line with your shoulders. This balances you so you shouldn’t have to lean back on anything.
Close your eyes - breathe slowly in and out and establish a rhythm.
For 5 minutes.
Try to always breathe through your nose - it is so much healthier for you.
This is the only mindtime your have found for today.
Your heart rate may come down a little and you will feel more calm.
Just breathing rhythmically like this is all you need for 5 minutes.
And you can do this anywhere.
Your emotions - examine them as you feel them because they arrive as feelings.
Finding the Gap - using to do so .
Isn’t this the suffering that the Buddha was referring to?
By just finding time for the mind.
MindTime vs. Meditation
Short vs Long
Almost Anywhere vs Somewhere Private
No training required vs required training
Minding the Gap is key to Managing Emotions
Most people are not aware that there is a gap - a pause - of around 6-10 secs between the arrival of a strong negative emotion or feeling such as anger rises up in a person and quick thinking is required to consider acting on that feeling or ignoring it.
So if you are prone to any one or more of the Big Five emotions you will do well to train yourself to listen to your inner monologue of your various selves.
All the world is indeed a stage and we all have our different parts or selves to play in it.
Try to recognise the various selves your character traits get you to play and consider changing those you don’t like.
One of the easiest ways practise awareness of the pause, I have found is to slip into conscious breathing for about a minute and then I let it go into the ether of the subconscious and go back to what I was doing.
If you find you are confronted by impending conflict for example, slip out for 5 minutes and practise your rhythmical breathing which immediately improves your attention and concentration (tell that to your Boss) and calms you down.
It is generally only the 9 primary negative emotions that will attract your attention. That is what they do.
That is their nature.
So thats Fear, Anger, Contempt, Disgust and Jealousy.
The Big Five under the incendiary influence of the Ego.
Leaving Shame, Embarrassment Surprise and Sadness as the softer four that appear in general to be easier for most people to deal with.
People tend to spend up to 10 times more time managing negative emotions which can drain the energy of those in distress and importantly those people around them too.
And of course, the single positive emotion we call Love or its derivatives of Happiness and Joy for example, are accessible and open to all at a moments notice.
But contrary to negative emotions they are very fleeting indeed and don’t hang around for long.
And anybody who believes that happiness can be achieved on an almost permanent basis is living under a powerful illusion.
I find Aristotle’s Challenge useful for anyone to paraphrase to defuse any of the Big Five.
I have shared this many times before with ordinary folks who have always found it useful to apply.
He said, “It is easy to be angry. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way - that is not easy”.
So recognising negative emotions and their destructive power becomes key to managing them.
And the practice of regular Meditation gives you the time and insight to deal with them in a positive and practical way.