The power of meditation (better attention and concentration)

The power of meditation (better attention and concentration)
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These are my major insights after having attended a Vipassana Meditation Seminar:

  1. Keep on working patiently and persistently. Progress will come soon or late. (Pretty basic, but so essential)
  2. Everying is temporary. Feelings, thoughts and also people will soon or later pass.
  3. If you want to tame your monkey mind, don't try fighting or arguing with your monkey. Don't give it any attention and let it jump and bump around.
  4. 3 hours meditation without moving helps to develop your determination muscle and willpower muscle.
  5. To get out of your mind, you have to get out of your body. From Bill Gates, who goes for walks to think, to Tony Robbins and Goenka, every "achiever" praises movement.

🎙 About the episode

A great playlist by S.N. Goenka about Vipassana Meditation. Short understandable videos, also suitable for beginners.

An interview with bestselling author Yuval Noah Harari about the 2 most important skills of the future.

If you want to practice daily meditation, I can highly recommend the app Headspace, I've been using for at least 5 years.

On Headspace you can find short 1 - 20 minutes guided meditations on topics like frustration, overwhelm, impatience, or other topics you might currently experience.

The best quote I know on meditation:

"If you don't have time to meditate, you should meditate even longer."

My favourite meditation techniques are focusing on a particular sensation, doing a bodyscan (where you scan your body from head to toe) and focusing on the in- and exhale.

I try to meditate at least 15 minutes a day, in the morning. During the day I normally try to come back to my breath if I feel stressed or have other cues that remind me of my breath.

When I take a nap in the afternoon, I focus on my breath for the first 10 minutes. I notice that I'm then energized, even if I consumed a big meal for lunch before.

One of the things that stuck with me the most was to remember that the effects of meditation take time to evolve, months or often even years.

It is a lifetime process, and if I desperately try to experience the positive effects while meditating, I certainly have not understood how meditation works.

🤓 If you prefer reding over listening, you can click on the full transcription of today's episode "The Power of Meditation."

✍ Full transcription


Yes, hello, hello, and welcome to the podcast episode. Today it's about a topic where you actually think it's funny that I haven't done an episode about it yet - now it's about fifty episodes in total, I think - because it's something that has helped me a lot at least in my learning and I also think in general it's very, very helpful in any life situation, so whether it's professional or personal. Mediation helps, I think, very, very much. And now countless studies have been done that it sharpens the focus and that you can also think more clearly through meditation, so you can focus better and above all simply find the focus again.


I want to talk about Vipassana meditation today. I watched a couple of videos today from, I don't know now if it's the inventor. Anyway, the S. N. Goenka, that's his name - I don't know now if I'm pronouncing it right - but he explains it mega, mega well. I can link the playlist from him below. There are short videos where he describes how to deal with these emotions and how to practice it. And yes, I think it's a mega exciting topic. It's difficult to grasp if you don't try it yourself, and he just really talks about you have to try it, because it's one that you grasp it intellectually, but yeah, it's like riding a bike. There you can talk about it a little bit and know how to do it, but if you haven't tried it, then you don't know how to do it. And yes, he brought such a cool example, because the Vipassana edition is simply about observing, so the feelings, the feelings that you have in the body, the thoughts and now not always say, "Why do I think this or why did I say this again in the past and I could then do it differently in the future. Ah, yes, exactly, okay, then I'll just say something different and that will certainly be better received."


And that's exactly what you shouldn't do. So, one should then really try that one is neither in the past nor in the future, but really in the present, and he describes it in such a way that one then really learns to see again, that is, real seeing. As soon as we're, I don't know, hungry, we think to ourselves, "Now I'm fully hungry. I finally got the banana." But as soon as I kind of have the banana in my mouth a little bit, I'm already thinking about something else. And yes, that's just the way it is. Once you really observe the thoughts, you actually notice that quite well. And Vipassana meditation, it's really about mindfulness actually.


So in principle, I think it's a cool example: well, when you look up at the sky, you see the clouds. And the clouds go by. And if the clouds are the thoughts, then you see the thoughts passing by and you don't hold on to a cloud and somehow try to bring it back and see what you can do with it, but you just let it move on. And if you look a little bit longer at a cloud, then you easily bring your focus back to your breathing and focus on it again. And then maybe a big cloud comes again, a thundercloud, and it has all our attention, but then I come back again slowly. And that's exactly how it is with meditation. And I think the cool thing is: What is behind the clouds and what is one hundred percent behind the clouds? Because that is the sun, that is a blue sky. The sun, it's actually always behind the clouds. We know it's actually temporary. So the good thoughts as well as the bad thoughts are only temporary.


And that also reminds me a little bit of stoicism because it's really temporary and you shouldn't evaluate it, so think like, "Yeah, now I have good thoughts." Yes, and it has zero to do with religion somehow. What I want to bring last: I saw such a cool interview today with Yuval Noah Harari. So, this is an author, he wrote "Sapiens", I think that's what it's called, and kind of something with "21 Lessons for the 21st Century". And yeah, he's a mega smart guy. He spends two months a year on Vipassana retreats, studied at Harvard and knows a lot about physics, and he says that nobody can really say, but in the next few years there will be a lot of changes in the job market and a lot will be automated, truck drivers will be replaced in 2025, he said, and the one thing that you should learn, that's really important, that you should teach your children now, is emotional intelligence.


So, that you really sort of learn how to deal with yourself, how to deal with your mental state, with your brain, because if you can do that, then you can react flexibly and adapt to the different job situations depending on the job situation. And that's the one thing he really said that's important. I'll link it. Then we'll have the videos below, and yeah. Until then. I hope you enjoyed it and I'll see you soon. Ciao, ciao!


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