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Wonder: The only thing you need to know to meditate

Meditate

Meditate

Here’s the only way to meditate: you have to sit down and close your eyes for some amount of time on a regular basis.

I’d say daily, but that freaks people out. I’d say 18 minutes a pop, but that also freaks people out. A friend of mine recently asked me if I could help her learn how to meditate. I gave her ideas, techniques, and tips of how to make sitting there with yourself tolerable for some length of time, but ultimately whether or not my friend wants to meditate is really the deciding factor.

I shared my practice—every day, at some point, I sit on my couch, turn on the timer on my phone for 18 minutes, turn off every kind of device that makes a sound, close my eyes, and do nothing. (The 18 minutes is purely an arbitrary number that just works for me and take my 18 minutes whenever I can get it – morning, noon, or night.) Sometimes I’m happy. Other times I’m less happy—meaning angry, sad, disappointed, frustrated, sick, or just in a funk of some kind. No matter what my emotional state, I sit there and just be and breathe. Most of the time, Phineas crawls into my lap and goes to sleep. There’s no magic formula. That’s it. That’s all I do. It’s enough for me and it’s enough for you, too.

You don’t need any fancy clothes, sitting apparatus, or pricey classes and workshops. You don’t need permission. You don’t need someone to tell you how to do it. All it takes is practice and a desire to practice. The rest you’ll learn along the way. Your breath and your heartbeat will teach you everything you need to know.

I can tell you this about my daily meditation practice: I never regret it.

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About Christa Avampato

I make a living in business and I make a life as a writer, artist, and yogi. I use my business and storytelling skills to build a better world. My first novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, will be published in the Fall of 2017 by Thumbkin Prints, a children's and YA imprint of Possibilities Publishing Co. My creative career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, and financial services. In every experience, I have used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, program, and events to help people live happier, healthier lives. A recovering multi-tasker, I am a proud alum of UPenn (BA) and the Darden School at UVA (MBA). When not in front of my Mac, I’m on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I am proud to New York City my home, and I've been called the happiest New Yorker by friends and strangers alike. They're right. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

Discussion

3 thoughts on “Wonder: The only thing you need to know to meditate

  1. “Your breath and your heartbeat will teach you everything you need to know.” I love this! And so true. Thank you for the lovely post.

    Like

    Posted by mourningdovemotherhood | January 4, 2016, 11:32 am
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    Posted by Nydia | January 7, 2016, 9:03 am

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This week, the many different threads at my job started to connect. It’s immensely gratifying to learn a large and complex technology platform, all for the sake of bringing more art, theater, music, and dance to more people. The vertical learning curve is becoming a little less vertical. Or maybe I am just becoming a more adept climber.

This idea of scaling walls reminded me of this sign I saw a few months ago when I was shoulder-deep in my job search, including interviewing for my current job. I wasn’t sure what would happen in my search, or what I would do about what would happen when it did happen. (This is how my mind works. It’s in a constant state of whirring.) What I needed was a sign, so I asked for one as I made my way up Fifth Avenue from the New York Public Library to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That’s when I saw this sign in the North Face storefront: Walls are meant for climbing. And about 30 minutes later, I heard from my now current job that I was moving on to the next and final round. Less than a week later, they offered me the job.

It’s this sense of optimism, asking the Universe for guidance, and then opening our eyes and ears to take in the wisdom around us that we have to take with us everywhere we go, into every situation that we face. We may not always be successful though our odds dramatically increase when we can look at a wall not as a roadblock, but as a reason to smile. I got this. You got this. We all got this.

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