Last night I listened to a Speaking of Faith podcast featuring Matthieu Ricard… a Tibetan monk labeled "The Happiest Man on Earth" after his brain was studied by scientists. He was one of those monks they hooked up to all those electrodes and measured brain waves as he meditated. (Click here for a fascinating article.)
Anyway, I have listened to this podcast before, but this time I was struck by something he said when asked what he would recommend to someone asking how to be happy. He said that happiness is something that needs to be cultivated. Worked toward. Built up. You can actually train your mind to be happy and compassionate. (Wow, right?!)
He also said he found it funny that people cultivate physical fitness by working out for 20 minutes a day, but they don't cultivate happiness or compassion by simply sitting and meditating for that amount of time.
And when I heard that … ding ding ding! … I had an idea.
What if we all gave this cultivating happiness thing a shot. What if we all made a commitment to simply sit quietly and still for five minutes a day for one week and just observe what happens. I realize that one week is not a long time for training the mind. And five minutes is not much either. But let's just start small and make it do-able and non-intimidating as we start. We can always build it up later. And plus, I'm a busy girl… and I'm sure you all are just as busy, but I feel like I can carve out five minutes in my day.
So what do you say? Are you game?
I am going to start this Sunday. (That'll give people time to read this post over the next few days and join in if they want.)
So Sunday, if you want to do this with me, just find five minutes during your day (any time will do… it doesn't have to be early morning to count) and simply sit. Could be in a chair with your feet planted on the ground. Could be on your bed. Could be on a meditation cushion if you have one. But just sit. Close your eyes if you want. Light a candle and stare at that if it helps. Or repeat a mantra to keep your mind active. Whatever. But do it for five minutes a day for one week. And let's just see what happens.
If you're in, please leave a comment and we'll build up an accountability list. (I'll need accountability to stay focused for seven days.) :)
I'm excited to do this and hopefully share this with you!
(Plus, for all those who commented on the last post... thank you again for being such a supportive community... I think this could only help our parenting. Five minutes of "me" time is precious gold, right?)