“You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day. Unless you’re too busy, then you should sit for an hour.” – Zen Saying
I’ve been wanting to write for a while now, but I’ve been struggling. Struggling for time, struggling for topics, struggling for motivation. All very human struggles.
I’ve been thinking. A lot of folks have talents that they don’t use often enough. Beautiful talents that showcase to the world exactly who they are in the best possible terms. By sharing our talents with others, the world becomes a little less dim. Whether it is athletic prowess, artistic creations, or the written word – people were born with talents that the world needs to see.
What are yours? What have you been neglecting to share with others, with yourself?
It comes down to a “want” — a want to do what we were born to do. Maybe we don’t share our talents due to laziness. Maybe it’s selfishness. Maybe it’s for a good reason, but can denying a beautiful part of ourselves ever be good? Long into the future, will your older self look back and say “what was I doing with my limited time?”
Over 2021 I set out on an experiment to see if I could meditate every day. Could I carve out time every day to meditate? Why did I want to do this?
For one, 2020 was an incredibly challenging year. I don’t think I need to go into why. I wanted to work on getting at “stillness.” Ryan Holiday wrote that “stillness is the key,” and I felt that stillness was something I had not been good at for a long time.
Stillness is an inner peace, clear thinking, management of emotions, good habits. All this leads to an acknowledgement, a gentle acceptance, and happiness. Stillness is achieved when the mind, body, and soul become aligned towards the same ends. Being present, choosing virtue, and acting bravely.
So, I carved out time every day to sit in stillness in an attempt to obtain stillness.
What did this teach me? A lot of lessons. But the most important was that time is what we make it. There are 24 hours in the day, and we choose exactly what we want to do with each hour.
“Busy” is an excuse, and a lousy one at that.
If you’re “busy” you’re wasting most of your time. Take an opportunity to chart out what it is you want to do; know exactly what and when you should do it. This way you won’t be so “busy” all the time.
Meditation taught me that being “too busy” is just an excuse. It’s putting off tomorrow what you don’t want to do today – but tomorrow never comes. Putting anything off when it can be and should be done now is a lack of discipline.
Mike Tyson once said that without discipline we’re nobody. He went on to say that “discipline is doing what you hate to do, but doing it like you love it.”
“Business” is hollowness – an expression of discipline where no discipline exists. The world will not slow its spin for anyone. We need to find the time, and if necessary, we make the time by prioritizing what we value. Learning to love what we hate.
Taking small moments of every day to sit in stillness turned into a large moment. It helped me understand that when I decide I am too busy for writing, I am wasting a talent. I am wasting opportunities to be who I am, to share myself with myself, and others.
Why else are we here, other than to be ourselves. Don’t waste time by being too busy.