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15 Mar

Andy Puddicombe: All it takes is 10 mindful minutes

And now for something completely different (as I attempt to purposely embed video).

(I guess I’ll find out if this worked out, later… why do I take notes of this stuff and put it IN the blog?)

Are you over worked?  Is your day filled with stress or little annoyances or people you want to strangle?  Maybe you need a psychiatrist, maybe you need a vacation or maybe, just maybe you need 10 minutes.

According to Puddicombe, ‘all it takes is 10 mindful minutes’ to reset the operating system.  I like this thought, the human body is a machine and thus logically, so is the brain and its thoughts.  It certainly makes sense that there is a physical component that could be applied to reset the brain instead of trying to utilize our own mental thoughts to cleanly wipe itself clear.  So why not try create focus, calm and clarity by performing this technique?

A couple quick comments (and admittedly enough, I’m feeling completely unprofessional this morning):

1) I thought, “Hey, that guy looks like a monk!” -> He is!  (Or was!)

2) He’s holding three balls, is he going to juggle?  I hope he juggles.  -> He does!  (I doubt that was taught in the temple but it proves his point of reduced concentration to achieve results)

3) My gut reaction when he says (paraphrasing), “When have you done absolutely nothing for ten minutes?” -> He’s obviously never worked in an office before, that’s 7.5 hours of nothing!  Kidding!

These kind of talks are very refreshing at times as it has a very grounded feeling of understanding where he is coming from and which direction he is directing the talk towards.  To be honest, all it takes is the title of the talk and you know exactly what its about and possibly a natural inclination of the benefits of doing so.

As we want to follow the scientific method of finding results, I will take MY 10 mindful minutes now..

Three Things you could learn about taking mindful minutes

1) It keeps yourself idealistic

The world is almost designed to make oneself pessimistic in nature.  There are often times too many pitfalls, mistakes and grievances that cannot be resolved and so it leaves a bad mental afterthought.  In some aspects it’s the lack of closure and in others it is the lack of progression.

I personally have felt myself quite tested in recent days, not only have I “not progressed” in my daytime ambitions, in many ways it feels like I have actually taken a step or two backwards.  These are not pleasant feelings.  These are the kind of emotions tied to aggression and a yearning to force change before change is ready.  It is a mental tightrope walk where falling is not an option.

Enter the mindful minutes, it’s the pseudo equivalent of counting to ten before reacting to stimulus.  It’s surprising how often THAT isn’t done let alone taking 10 minutes to be mindfully aware of situations.  It certainly does help.

2) Taking 10 minutes to just observe, makes you feel like a kid again

I turned on a stopwatch and let my ten minutes start.   My initial reaction was that having a clock slowly counting was enough to nullify my mindful minutes but given that I wanted to limit my initial testing I kept it going.  My second observation was that taking time to do nothing had a similar sensation to going outside for a cigarette.  It’s ‘time away’, or ‘away from the chaos inside’.  However, it was around here that I started becoming uncertain if daydreaming or paraphrasing experience probably wasn’t what this was supposed to be about.

I started observing my environment, the room itself and level of brightness, how my body felt (a bit sore from working out) and that I could hear my nose.  That’s not good, was my nose always making this noise?  How many people has this annoyed without me being aware of it, or is this some new thing I’ve just discovered?  Feeling I was going offtrack again, i continued to observe.

Around this time I started getting mental flashbacks of childhood where ‘this’ was the mental environment at the time.  When I was very small I wasn’t interacting or expected to interact with adults, it was just clear observation.  My mind wasn’t actively designing on problems or boggled with thought, it was just absorbing my senses.  It’s exactly how I remember being as a kid, and I’m legitimately surprised that I haven’t done something like this sooner.

The clock was still running and I’m occasionally taking the time to observe specifically that.  For myself, I know that I concentrate better when I am able to look at objects in the far distance, it’s probably due to the relaxation of the eyes and I’m painfully aware of this concept as I wish my timer was far far away instead of being so close.

Ten minutes finish up.  Was that sip of my drink that I took midway disruptive to the experiment?  Was my initial daydreaming part of or distraction from true minutes of doing ‘nothing’?  I don’t know, but I’ll have to try this again sometime.

3) You’re 1% on the way to enlightenment

This guy was a monk, and if it followed the ‘zen’ path it was seeking enlightenment.  What does it mean to be enlightened?

I know the following (I’m not checking facts if this was from anything either).  The cause of suffering is desire, to end desire is to end suffering.  To be truly enlightened, one would have no desires and likewise no burdens of suffering.

These mindful minutes reminded me of creating a moment in time where we can become, if only temporarily, “enlightened”.  It might not be true 23 hours and 50 minutes a day, but for a solid ten minutes I can try to not have a single desire.  To be carefree and not carry the paranoia of other people judging me or that I was not observant enough in my own day to day routine.

It appears that everything starts with awareness.  Something can only be remembered if we were aware of it to begin with, it appears that mindful minutes might be tied to having awareness of thought and so enlightenment is a by product of complete awareness.  And that’s not possible in a Las Vegas casino (aka, in our lives today.  And by Casino, I’m just using that as a description).

Well, that was highly interesting.  Take ten minutes and try it out yourself.

Enlightened to share

ED

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Posted by on March 15, 2013 in TED Talks

 

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