Find Calm with Transcendental Meditation (and this free MP3)
Modern life is noisy. The endless clamor of expectation. The static of relentless pitches for our time and dollars. The screaming ideologies demanding our allegiance. All this and more blasting at us daily, an unscalable wall of bustle and racket. And smack dab in the middle of that wall is a giant three-pronged outlet that we voluntarily plug our soul and self into.
So how to yank out that cord? How to replace the static and the bustle with the sounds that sustain us? The whispers of those we love. The lapping of waves. The hum of breeze on the grass. Your own footsteps in a museum. Your own heartbeat, rhythmic and easy. How do we pull that plug and take control of our noise?
Here’s how I did it.
My Personal Noise Machine
First, here’s what my own personal clang and clatter looked like. A couple years ago I was laid off. I had two small children and a spirited canine, and my wife and I made the difficult decision to move from LA back to Cincinnati, where we’re from. Sure, one could do spiritual gymnastics to spin this as a “Midwestern homecoming” of sorts. But it felt more like failure.
I couldn’t find a job. We moved in with my pregnant sister-in-law and her kids. As you can imagine, the stress piled up in a hurry. I was bombarded by inner voices with a running commentary on expectation, success, responsibility, legacy, integrity, art, life. You know, casual stuff.
I heard those inner voices, and in such a packed living space I also felt all the outer, expectant eyes of everyone involved—whether they were actually on me or not.
So, I left.
No, not left left. Come on! I went to the library.
David Lynch to the Rescue?
I didn’t know quite what I was searching for, but the library seemed like a reasonable place to start. I wasn’t looking for myself, because I think I had a sense of that. I think I was looking for a way to bridge the gap. To bring that self – the core of me – closer to my daily, waking reality. I was looking for a way to turn down the noise. And, ironically, I found it while reading about David Lynch, whose character in his famed show Twin Peaks, appropriately, is often cranking down his hearing aid to better manage the world’s racket. David Lynch, I learned, is deeply into transcendental meditation.
Transcendental meditation is just what the words suggest – a practice of focused attention that helps you transcend, or rise out of the chaos of the world around you. It helps you unplug from the clutter and noise of modern life, which is a lightning storm of stumuli that taxes our mind and body in ways many don’t realize.
Our brain processes over 15000 different things at any given time. Sometimes consciously, most times unconsciously. Even in a seemingly innocuous moment driving down the street our synapses are firing like crazy—you’re seemingly focused on the car in front of you, but that’s only one spark in the storm. You’re also subconsciously processing the sky above you, the weather, the other cars, the street signs, the comfort of the seat, the news on the radio, the route you’re taking, the shopping list you’ve forgotten, the fit or your pants, the cat on the sidewalk, the state of the world. And still, that’s just the beginning.
The Many Benefits of Meditation
That’s where transcendental meditation comes in. Think about the brain waves triggered by each of those stimuli as waves on the ocean. When those waves are moving, they combine into a storm – thrashing, noisy, wet, violent. With just ten or fifteeen minutes of focused meditation you’re able to settle those waves and still the waters.
The short term affects are profound. Your brain activity will relax. Calm will set in. Your body and mind will feel rejuvinated. You’ll be able think more clearly. And with regular practice, the long-term effects can be life changing. By regularly disconnecting and turning inward, you’ll be reconnected to the self and the world around you in a more genuine and profound way. You’ll have a better understanding of yourself and you’ll be a better listener, a better friend, a better partner.
Not such a bad deal for ten minutes of your day! So where to begin?
Free MP3, Priceless Peace
I’ve put together [MM1] a 10-minute guided practice so you can try this out for yourself. All you need to do is find a comfortable spot and open yourself up to renewal.
This free track is just one of a great many meditations out there, each with different means of guiding you inward. I encourage you to use this as a starting point for your own journey. Search around and see what else speaks to you, and give it a chance to change your life.
For now, though, download this MP3 to your device of choice. Turn off the ringer, turn off the alerts from ESPN, Twitter, Cat Fancy, and the New York Stock Exchange. Find a quiet place to sit. And listen. Try to do it in the morning to set your day up for peace and mindfulness. Repeat in the afternoon, or as needed.
Try to do this at least once a day, and stick with it. As I said, don’t be afraid to seek out other transcendental teachers and practices. But do it.
At this point, I’ve been taking part in a guided meditation for 2 years, and and the experience and results have been profound. In a word, transcendental. [can talk here about your personal growth/changes, if you want – better sleep, connunication, mindfulness, etc. up to you, though – might not be necessary, especially is we keep some of the personal stuff form earlier].
Making Open-Mindedness Our Business
It’s no great surprise, then, that the fundamental aspects of transecendntal meditation have even informed Sickboat’s core philosphy, and our approach to storytelling and design. In both our individual selves and the clients we seek out, we’ve come to value self-awareness, building authentic relationships, and cutting through the noise of society in order to forge genuine connections. All I can say is, thanks David Lynch!
So that’s that for now. Download the meditation and give it a try – you won’t regret it. And feel free to reach out if you have any questions about the track, Sickboat, or anything else that’s on your mind.
And, in the meantime, may your waters be calm.