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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Am I there yet?

This is the time of year when we decide to change things about ourselves or our lives. And mid-way through Jan.1, you may be holding fast to your resolution. Or maybe you already broke it with mimosas for breakfast.

The important thing is not to give up the first time you slip. And that's what we learn in meditation. If we stopped meditating the first time we noticed ourselves thinking instead of watching our breath, we would never find any calm or equanimity. The practice of meditation is about controlling your attention (in a friendly way). When you can place your awareness, notice when it's moved and bring it back then you're getting somewhere.

Malcolm Gladwell said it takes 10,000 hours to master a subject or skill. But you can become more mindful in a few minutes a day. And in my experience, mindfulness -- once started -- spreads on its own into all areas of your life.

Ten thousand hours sounds daunting, right? But there's another way to look at it. In the song "10,000 Hours" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, they say, "10,000 hours felt like 10,000 arms -- they carry me."

Put those 10,000 hours into meditation, and they will carry you to a place I can't even imagine. I've got a lot of hours to go.