Updated: Feb 13
Written by: Noah Safer Published: February 9th, 2022
Lesson #2 - Meditate
There’s tremendous value in sitting still and just existing.
Life is a demanding task. Think of how much of your day is based around a schedule, where you’re constantly shifting between different head spaces. Daily life makes it difficult to take a step back and reflect upon one’s thoughts and feelings. Our brains spend so much time each day thinking about anything that one can imagine, and by the end of the day sometimes, it feels like not another thought can fit.
If you are anything like me, your mind tends to run a bit wild. I think too much of some situations while simultaneously giving far too little thought to others. Sometimes I get bombarded with too many at once and have to do a quick on-the-fly mental reset to accurately speak my mind or clear my head. Not so easy to do.
It was one of these bombardments, a few years ago now, that led me to discover meditating. I can’t remember the exact stress I was under that particular day, but all I know is that I was looking just to take a moment to do nothing. No work, school, not even a hobby, I just wanted to simply sit and exist without responsibility for a moment. I had heard of the benefits of meditating, and curious about the peacefulness of it, I gave it a try. I laid down in my room in the pitch black, put my headphones in and picked out some nature-based white noise, and closed my eyes and tried to just think of nothing except for my breathing.
I laid motionless like that for fifteen minutes. I focused on getting to a peaceful place in my mind. For once, it felt like I was existing within myself. I could get inside of my own mind and be in control of my thoughts, if only for a moment. I opened my eyes after fifteen minutes feeling refreshed and with a clear head. All I had done was sit still and focus on my breathing and find a comfortable place in my mind, and yet it completely wiped the slate.
After having such great results from my first meditation, I made it a nightly routine. I prefer to do it at night, when the day is complete and I can totally inhabit a relaxed state of mind, but morning meditation has also been a great way to start off the day thinking right. I tried it with some songs I felt had a meditative vibe and it worked even better. It didn’t happen instantly, but over the course of a few weeks of consistent practice, I noticed it slowly changing my perspective on how I viewed adversity and those “thought attacks” I previously mentioned. Meditation helped me realize that when I was getting overwhelmed, I was still in control of my situation. Even if I wasn’t in control, it was alright, because all I could do then was carry on and continue with my life. The focus that’s required to meditate translated into my everyday life, so much so that I found myself more driven to complete tasks and find other ways to improve my well-being, such as getting back in the gym and reading more often.
Meditation helped me to see that life was bigger than its individual moments. My advice is to just take a few minutes one day when you have the time, get into a comfortable spot and meditate, uninterrupted, and take your mind to a place of happiness and peace. Whatever problems may be in your life, they don’t exist for those fifteen minutes. Or ten, or even five to start. Just exist for that time period, and over time you may find yourself more in control of your thoughts. Because after all, you are in control, and meditation helped me see that.
To quote my go-to meditation song Good Thoughts, Bad Thoughts by Funkadelic: “You meet in life the exact reproduction of your own thoughts. You rise as high as your dominant aspiration.”
With peace and love,
P.S. I thought I would include some songs I enjoy meditating to. I like to mix these in sometimes, and other times just meditate in silence. Do what works for you.
Good Thoughts, Bad Thoughts - Funkadelic
Meditations - Lonnie Liston Smith and the Cosmic Echoes
Wisdom Eye - Alice Coltrane
Gymnopedie #1 - Hubert Laws
Yemeni Jade - Allah-Las
396 Hz - Guilt & Fear Liberation - Kev Thompson
A Garden Of Peace - Lonnie Liston Smith
Charisma - Tom Browne
Frequency - Jhene Aiko
I Gotta Find Peace of Mind - Ms. Lauryn Hill
Getsomerset/sleepwell - quickly, quickly
Elevate Your Mind - Londrelle, Desiree Dawson
Bag Lady - Erykah Badu
Seigfried - Frank Ocean