SMART/PRACTICAL THINGS MY MEDITATION TEACHER HAS TOLD ME LATELY
My teacher is a guy named Joseph Goldstein. He's a mensch. He's also very funny.
- •When you find yourself fantasizing about some future event - a meal, party, vacation, whatever - make the soft mental note of "done." Because all of these pleasant experiences will at some point be "done," and yet our bedrock propensity for desire will rage on.Importantly, this doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy - or look forward to - pleasant experiences, just that you should do so with a healthy dose of perspective. The idea that the things for which we pine will be ultimately satisfying ("everything will be great once I get that next promotion/latte/tinder-hookup...") is a lie we keep telling ourselves over and over.
- •When walking around during the day, instead of engaging in useless rumination (the default mode for many of us), try to just feel yourself walking. In other words, be mindful. Just notice the sensations of movement. It's not so hard."You're walking anyway."
- •I recently complained to Joseph that watching the breath was wholly uninteresting. His response: "Maybe you should meditate with your head underwater."