When someone says, “I have a daily meditation practice,” don’t you… just wanna strangle them?
That’s why I hesitate to say: I have a daily meditation practice. But I do. And here’s why I’m braving your annoyance right now.
My meditation practice puts me in touch with the greater mystery of life. And that — no doubt — is getting me through the ups and downs of this moment.
So I encourage leaders reading this note to embrace that greater mystery, in whatever way is meaningful for you — especially right now.
Maybe it’s dance. Maybe it’s prayer. Maybe it’s meditation. Maybe it’s cooking a nourishing meal and pondering how each ingredient made it to your kitchen…
Whatever it is that connects you to the greater mystery, do it!
Today, I warmed up for my meditation practice by listening to a talk by neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris. He summed it up like this:
“At this moment, we have access to more information than even the greatest scholar or world leader did a generation ago. Yet — on some level — we face the same mystery of our existence as Socrates or even the Buddha faced.
The fact that we exist is a miracle — of sorts. There is something fundamentally inexplicable about it. And no amount of knowledge can dispel the mystery of our appearance.
In science, we try to explain or solve mysteries. But there is another sense in which mystery never recedes. It’s an ever-present fact of even the most well-understood phenomena.
When we consider any facet of experience — let’s say a vision of color — if we can stem the tide of our thoughts long enough to merely observe it as it is — the fact that we are in total ignorance of what it is can become obvious.
What is the color blue? Not as a function of wavelengths of light or neurophysiology, but as it is directly perceived. We’re really left with nothing to say, but that’s it’s blue.
It’s not even blue, which is just a word. It’s noise we are making. But what we see before us is whatever ineffably is.”
Wow — right? After pondering “blue” and the distance between concept and experience, my to-do list feels a little less stressful. The news cycle feels a little less dire. And I’ve got a broader perspective that I can bring to my personal life, my work and my leadership activities.