I would say that meditation saved my life. Sam would say the sincerity of my intention to be healed and whole is what saved my life, and that sitting merely helped me get clear on how to save it. He’s right, too. But no matter how we tell the story, meditation mattered. A lot.
I meditated with Sam for many years while living a monastic life together and have sat almost every day since I met him in 1990. I say “nearly” because I probably missed a few dozen days over the years due to health reasons or family emergencies and I don’t want to misrepresent myself by saying every.
However, I turn 55 next month and will have lived just shy of 10,000 days since I met Sam. Averaging one hour of meditation a day, I’ve put in close to the requisite 10,000 hours that popular thought leader Malcolm Gladwell claims is necessary for mastery. Not to brag, but to show you. It’s possible. One day at a time. One sit at a time.
If I can do it, you can do it. And when it comes to meditation, the mastery is in doing the practice, not in who you become as a result of practicing.
Since meditation is such an integral part of my life and a core practice in Selfistry, you can imagine how excited I must be to share with you the book called Just Sit by Sukey and Elizabeth Novogratz.
What excites me about this book is:
It’s incredibly well written, easy and fun to read, somewhat of a novelty these days.
The pictures are great! Nice work Niege Borges.
The guidebook explains everything you need to know about how to meditate, how to overcome your resistance to meditating, and how to not give up once you start. I mean everything!
Sukey and Elizabeth Novogratz did such a good job on this book they have relieved me of the pressure to write one.
Many of the benefits of meditation that Sukey and Elizabeth describe in Just Sit have happened for me. Most of the challenges and questions they describe I’ve experienced as well. In fact I would say I can personally validate pretty much everything they’ve written in this book. So, If you have any questions or just want a second opinion, ask me.
Here’s some notes from my cushion:
I sit first thing in morning, 25 minutes most days, and have a dedicated space with a fabulous meditation chair and an alter.
I use the app Instant Timer to time myself. Check it out. It’s excellent. It even has guided meditations and full meditation courses. I especially love the ending bells.
I look forward to sitting. It’s my mainline to the fundamental ground-of-being where I feel held and unconditionally loved. While sitting my nervous system relaxes, my heart opens, and my body gets energized to go out and be fully me. The silence creates space for me to remember that I’m allowed to be happy and I can’t get life wrong (even when I mess up, which of course I do) and shows me how fun and magical it is to be human.
Remember when we were kids and naturally believed life was wondrous? Well, it’s true. Life is pure wonder. Sitting helps me reclaim this childlike wonder and joy.
Sitting helps me organize the ideas and inspirations that flow through me, sometimes like a tempest. I can get overwhelmed and paralyzed by all that I want to express and do in the world. Sitting helps the cream rise to the top.
Sitting has been instrumental in growing my inner observer or witness, the secret sauce of Selfistry. With a strong witness I’m able to navigate my daily life with more grace, ease, and joy, because I have the power to pause before I open my mouth or act.
This skill has been instrumental in building healthier relationships and being a more kind, forgiving, and compassionate person overall.
So, if you’re still on the fence about meditating, get this book, https://justsit.com, read it, then just sit. You’ll be glad you did.