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June 16, 2010

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

“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.

Bonus:

Me before coffee and me after coffee.

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