I’m an a**h*le when I don’t meditate in the morning.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jun 16, 2010
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“All things are ready if our minds be so.” – Shakespeare (Henry V).

The Two Best Times to Meditate, Each Day.

Pema Chodron, Sakyong Mipham, other Buddhists agree: 5 minutes of meditation a day, a few times a day, makes a huge difference.

For years, rain or shine, dog walk or coffee, brush teeth or shower, laptop or calisthenics, there’s one thing I’ve done first in the morning. I meditate.

In Buddhism, they say the two most powerful times to meditate are right after you wake up—when your mind is briefly clear and peaceful, and right before your day’s to-do list comes flooding in—and right before you go to sleep at night, as a way to clear you mind and put it in a peaceful, healthy state as you prepare to zzzzzzzz and dream for eight hours.

This morning, however, I woke late (I’d worked fitfully until 330 am), lay in bed for 10 minutes trying to wake up, showered, walked my dog, then hurriedly started working, trying to play catch up. It was already 1015 by the time I was sharing our content via social media, replying to emails, etc.

But something’s off. My mind is static-y. Still, I work on, despite the irritating noise of an unsettled mind.

Then, I throw a little temper tantrum with a colleague, and a small bad situation quickly becomes a bigger badder situation. It’s a welcome reminder, actually—I’m out of line. I’m acting like a two-year old who wants dinner now. I’m trying to get my way, resolve things for the better…but I’m just creating more confusion, samsara, klesha.

And so I remember: working harder is not working smarter. You want to be of benefit, you have to take a break, ground your mind and heart in the present moment, and open up to reality—instead of your, or rather my, incessant discursive mindstream.

And so I end this little acknowledgement, close my laptop, and sit on my meditation cushion—conveniently only five feet from my desk.

Click here for essential meditation instruction.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


17 Responses to “I’m an a**h*le when I don’t meditate in the morning.”

  1. Coe Douglas says:

    Dig the post and the insight. Thanks for the honesty and the sharing, Waylon.

  2. swati jr* says:

    i'm like a monster without an hour or two each day. the world is lucky i learned TM. i'd be worse than this!

  3. Yah, rough day in my head, man!

  4. […] I’m an a**h*le when I don’t meditate in the morning. […]

  5. Yontan says:

    Sounds like a little meditation helped smooth out a bad day, but one might suggest that you were an "a**h*le" because you went to bed a 3:30am and set your next day behind schedule!
    JUST a thought….
    Of course, being behind vs. being behind and taking a few minutes to clear your head — easy choice.

  6. YogiOne says:

    Very succinct and to the point, close to experience, no bull. I like/learn from this type of post very much.

  7. elephantjournal says:

    Good point!

  8. […] and eventually I had to break it off. It was sad, but I knew it was for the best. I moved on to mindfulness meditation. We’d been flirting for years, and once yoga and I broke up, I knew it was time to give […]

  9. […] of our forebears in how we react to frustration or impatience or what-have-you. Often, if I haven’t meditated, or had my coffee, or if I get up on the wrong side of the bed—my first knee-jerk reaction to […]

  10. […] “efficient” and more “present.” It’s better for love, and saves us klesha and forgotten to-dos and it’s better for our heart and stress levels. It’s better. […]

  11. […] Love is selfish. Folks call me egotistical because I’m temper tantrumer, which I am. Like a poor man’s godfather I take things personal. Especially when I haven’t meditated enough. […]

  12. […] an option. So, I get up. Do a little internal sit down and wake up (because if I skip that, I’m not fun to be around at all.) Then coffee. Coffee is key. After […]

  13. […] a couple minutes a day can transform your (work) life from “memememe” to “clear.” “I can’t live in the future, I’ve got to live right […]

  14. […] described meditation as not something that you can practice for 10 minutes a day, but as a state of mind to be achieved in every single moment. His teachings spoke of awakening from […]

  15. Maggie says:

    The title cracked me up! Thanks for the laugh and the reminder!

  16. Just a Girl says:

    All joking aside, I get that meditation helps calm the mind. I'm not sure turning it (or the lack thereof) into an excuse for being a*hole is the right answer either, though. How about just quit being an a*hole with or without meditation. <3

    Meltdowns happen to the best of us, but you don't have to have any situation outside of yourself to quit it. :o)

  17. Caroline says:

    Thanks for sharing Waylon!