Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mindfulness Meditation Is Too Hard for Lawyers

When I explain mindfulness meditation to legal colleagues, friends, family or strangers, inevitably the first reaction is something along the lines of - "I could never do that! Sit still for five minutes [Note: The proposed number of minutes doesn't actually change this reaction] - I'd go nuts!"

No one expects to run a 5K, do fifty push-ups, read Proust or cook a fabulous meal without some practice, some training, some effort. The same applies to meditation. Meditation is not the goal, it's the means. It's a process. 

Of course the very first time you sit is likely to be somewhat difficult - just like your first effort at running was.

Mindfulness meditation is training the mind in the same way that running sprints or reading cook books is training.  The goal is to use our mindfulness training so as to engage life in a light way with fewer judgements, fewer "stories", and fewer efforts at controlling the uncontrollable.

And how does mindfulness do this? As Jon Kabat-Zinn says in Mindfulness for Beginners"...mindfulness is to be present for your experience as it is rather than immediately jumping in to change it or try to force it to be different."

It is said there are two perfect times to plant a tree - thirty years ago and today. In the same way, there is no time like now to start mindfulness. 

How long did you stand in line at Starbucks today? Surely you have five minutes to spare today to start something that will make your other 1,435 minutes more productive, more engaged and less stressful?

Thanks for reading.