Meditation and Productivity

Meditation often has a mysterious sense to it. Everyone has their own unique path, there are volumes written on it, there are classes, there are books, and what’s it all about anyway?

Leaf on Water

Speaking to several in the productivity world, they often have a practice of meditation as I do. Tim Stringer, for instance, even teaches a class on it.

Some people seem to adapt quickly. I’ll read on the meditation subreddit where people attain a flow of thought in a few months, what I am still trying to achieve many years later. Others find themselves agitated, anxious, or angry when attempting it.

I’ve written on it before:
* What is Meditation and Why is it Useful?
* The Single-Breath Meditation

And there are many possible benefits beyond productivity, helping with numerous maladies of mental and physical health.

Whatever it is, I do find that the practice is one of acknowledging the rhythms of my own peculiar mind. When I talk about managing my thoughts, my emotions, and how to guide them in the individual session or throughout the day, I must be drawing, at least to some degree, from the well of a practice of meditation. For instance, the second lesson in the Being Productive course is very much influenced by a meditative frame of mind.

Many people find its practice difficult. Sitting for more than a few moments with their breath and the thoughts that intrude can just seem intolerable. How are there these people who go about meditating for a half-hour, or even hours a day? And don’t they have other things to do? I’m busy!

I can only relate my own experience. For years I could only sit for a few minutes a day. I stayed with 5 minutes. When I tried to increase it to, say, 6 or 7 minutes, I couldn’t do it. But one day, I just said, “oh, I get it…” and suddenly I could sit for 20. My mind was still quite all over the place, but somehow, I could be ok with that.

And in terms of being busy, I like the phrase:

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes everyday – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.”
Dr. Sukhraj Dhillon

And even here, you can see this blend of, “I can only relate my experience” and this other more directive measure.

There are certainly days where I think, “Why am I doing this?” It does seem to help me find calm focus. But somehow, that does not feel like the central answer, as much as I like the benefit. Maybe the answer is “For the thing itself.”

It’s certainly not a panacea, and it may not even be good for everyone. But, consider whether a practice might benefit your own day.