Cross your legs, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and say ‘ommm’. Then clear your mind, think of nothing for 5, 10, 15 minutes. Breath in, breath out. Clear your mind, don’t think. Breath. Clear, don’t think, in and out. Then your life changes. Is it really that simple? Can meditation transform your life?
Yes, it can. But only, if done in the right way and often enough. When I say ‘done in the right way’, I mean a way that bring you measurable, positive results. For me, this desired efficiency was brought by 6 phase meditation. This method was first introduced by Vishen Lakhiani, founder of Mindvalley, and is by far one of the most beloved methods among both beginning and advanced meditation practitioners.
When I say ‘often enough’, I mean once per day. This could also be adjusted personally but once per day is definitely working for me. I take up to 10 minutes after waking up to go through my meditation routine. This daily challenge changed to a daily habit and started to give me a lot of energy and motivation to jump into the day.
After a few weeks of consistent meditation practice, I noticed several vivid benefits taking place in my life. Here’s what happened.
- Ability to focus
The mind out of control is like a Restless Monkey, jumping here and there senselessly. You have to learn how to control it, see the real nature of the mind. Indeed, the more you try to ‘not think’, the faster you will catch yourself actually pounding on something. This is why I love the ‘6 phase meditation’ method so much. It doesn’t forbid you from thinking – instead, it guides you through 6 very important topics that everybody should reflect on daily.
I actually do think while meditating, and while doing it I become very focused. I can later replicate that state of being focused, anytime I really need to figure something out; be it during a deep dive in analytics at work, figuring out a personal dilemma, or reading a complex article.
- Be grateful and excited about the present
Marisa Peer, world-class therapist once said: To be happy you have to make peace with your past, love the present, and feel excited about the future. It’s easy to get caught in a life and always worry about the future. However, meditation taught me to pay attention to the present.
Another stage of the 6-phase meditation is about expressing gratitude. Just think about 3 things you are grateful for. It doesn’t need to be big. It’s the small things that sprinkle the everyday life with joy. Today, for example, I was grateful for a blue sky, exciting project I do at work, and the fact that I am healthy. How does it upgrade your life? By telling yourself things you’re grateful for, you are happier with the present and thus your life becomes fuller, lighter, and more beautiful.
- Breathing skills
Meditation without breathing is like living without breathing; it just has to be connected. Deep inhale- and exhalations make you more aware of the present and naturally calms down the body and mind. After a series of deep breaths, I feel stronger and more grounded with myself.
Then, throughout the day, every time I feel like there’s too much happening around me, I just come back to deep breathing. And everything slows down and starts to look more logical and positive. Simple, but extremely powerful.
Love yourself like your life depends on it, said Kamal Ravikant, author of a groundbreaking book about how self-love can transform our reality. In this short essay-like lecture, Ravikant describes his own meditation technique which trains his brain to believe he loves himself truly and deeply. All you need it to do is to basically keep saying: I love myself, I love myself.
I incorporated that hack into my own meditation routine and I can already see measurable results. Instead of going on with a very destructive self-criticism I switched to a gentle, kind treatment of self-love. This ‘switch’ changed so many mornings (and with this – days) from gloomy to positive and radiant.
- Staying aligned and alert about my vision and goals
One of the other great daily habits I have is to journal every day with a key learning point. Those KLPs typically refer to my vision and goals, and whether my actions from that particular day brought me closer to achieving those goals or not, and why.
Now I found it so much easier to stay focused if I remind myself of the goals during meditation. In ‘6 phase meditation’ you have to picture yourself in a few years time; imagine where you wake up, what do you do, who do you live with etc. This mental picture can get super vivid when you’re meditation-focused and so it’s easier to always have it in mind and, even subconsciously, structure your days in order to finally reach your goals.
So yes, meditation really CAN transform your life. It won’t, however, if you are not committed to putting some work to it. Luckily, everything can be achieved by working out a daily habit! After several weeks of consistent, even 5-minute meditation session you’ll find yourself automatically doing the same ritual: crossing your legs, closing your eyes, taking a deep breath, and… diving deep into meditation; the amazing state of self-discovery, self-love, and gratitude.