The Golden Rule to Stop Excuses and Start Meditation Now

The Golden Rule to Stop Excuses and Start Meditation Now

Art of Meditation: The Personal Development and Spiritual Growth Series:          

Stop procrastinating.  Start your meditation program.  Start today, start right after reading this article, hell forget the article – start now.  This scrap of paper is only being written to get you to do it, you have somehow come across these thoughts of mine – every cell in my being urges you to begin.  Begin.  Stop making excuses, stop being a spectator – time to play.  So few people play.  Mostly, everybody just sits around, being part of the audience.  It is time for you to play.  If you are familiar with cricket, it’s your turn to bat.  If you are familiar with baseball, batter up.  Life is bowling away.  Wonderful balls, fast with great swing, great bouncers, yorkers, right in the channel and the batter is yet to arrive at the crease!  Come on step up.  The best antidote to the disease of procrastination is the Golden 70% rule.  This rule simply says forget about doing it perfectly; just try to manage 70% of the ideal, after that we will see.           

I have heard and probably used every excuse in the book.  The other day a good friend of mine was visiting.  He had practiced meditation with me in the past and is really a gem of a guy with a heart of gold.  Unfortunately, life had him busy with wife and kids and he had not gotten out to the middle in a while (another cricket term to say, he had not batted in a while).  So as we caught up he expressed his wish to get back to meditation.  Wonderful.  Then he followed it up with “But first I need to get in shape.”  What?!  Excuses!  You are healthy enough to start now.  Hell and if you’re not, meditation is the thing you need to get the body back to its best.  Decide on doing as much as you are comfortable with and jump in.  The work itself will take care of the rest.  Don’t try for the perfect practice, perfect preparation, perfect situation, perfect time, perfect place, etc, etc. Just use the 70% rule. You are 70% prepared – good enough, your Zazen (Zen sitting meditation) will be 70% of maximum – good enough.  Just get out into the middle and face the chin music (bouncers from cricket fast bowlers aimed at the neck of the batsmen to rattle them).  You will be surprised how prepared you already might be.  Nature has built you for the purpose of meditation; all else is just fooling around.          

Here is a list of top excuses that people who are interested in meditation use to not get down to business… 

  1. Don’t have time, because of family obligations, work obligations, etc…
  2. I am not able to concentrate; my mind jumps around like a monkey.  My mind drifts.
  3. I am not able to sit still for very long.
  4. I have some time during the day but not enough for a serious practice.
  5. Will start after making a meditation room in my house or after moving to a bigger place so I have my quiet, sacred, meditation space.  After I move to the Himalayas.
  6. I am waiting to get healthy and in shape first.
  7. It is too boring.
  8. It is too hard to do.
  9. I can’t do it regularly enough.  I am too lazy or don’t have enough willpower.
  10. I don’t see any difference in me after meditating.
  11. I am not flexible enough to sit cross-legged.
  12. I don’t know how.  I will start after I join a Yoga class or Monastery so I can learn and practice properly.
  13. I can’t get myself to stop watching television to make time for meditation.
  14. Will first learn to wake up at dawn then will meditate.
  15. Will first read the Vedas, Bible, Koran, Upanishads, Gita, Diamond Sutra and Heart Sutra so I am knowledgeable then I will start.
  16. I will start meditation after I retire or after earning enough money.
  17. I will meditate when I am older and done with family life so I can devote myself to it.
  18. I will meditate when I am done with my drinking, drugging and womanizing ways.
  19. I will start when I am done with my education.
  20. I need to find my Guru first.  Oh, where is he, where is my savior?

You can probably think of a few more I have forgotten.  All the excuses above are based on either ignorance or laziness, and if you apply the 70% rule, almost all are invalidated.  If you prefer change the 70% rule to the 30% rule or 3% rule, it doesn’t matter; it is just to get you in a non-procrastinating, no-excuses state of mind.  The point is don’t wait for things to be perfect, if things are 70% of ideal, begin.  I can’t emphasize enough, start with whatever little you can do on a regular basis.  Once you establish your practice it will change everything that needs to be changed in order for it to flourish.  It might start like a small drip but before you know it, it will be flowing like the Ganges.  If you are interested in meditation the last thing you want to have happen is to say, “I wish I had…” while lying on your deathbed.

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19 replies
  1. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Alex,

    Yes, certainly moment to moment living, with consciousness is a way of life. Here are some tips for living in the “here and now”.

    1. Understand that attention is the awareness of inattention. So the moment you know you are lost/adrift, is the moment that you are found. So the way is via negation.

    2. Use your breath as an anchor to help you stay in the moment. Knowing you are attending to your breath means that you are not lost in the network of thoughts. If you have lost attention of the breath for some time, sure enough that means you have drifted into your mental realities.

    3. Don’t worry about your thoughts. Let them come and let them go. Try to remain detached and a witness to their movements… like watching clouds in the sky. The key here is to be un-bothered by them.

    The above is a good place to start. I will write on this as I am sure it is of interest to many readers.

    Best,
    Anmol

    Reply
  2. AlexH
    AlexH says:

    Hey Anmol, i was wondering, how do you exactly live in the “here and now”? It seems impossible to do that when there are so many thoughts going through me head ever minute. I want to stop “theorizing”(making theories of what to do and what not to do), and i want to really start living, but my mind keeps getting in the way. Also, if the point of meditation is to let go of thoughts, then is it not just a spiritual practise, but a way of life that applies to you everywhere you go?

    Many thanks, and happy holidays :)

    Reply
  3. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Rupal,

    Yes that is perfect, just do as much as you are able to include into your life style comfortably. 5 minutes a day is a perfectly good start.

    Glad the Golden Rule is helping you and others get started with your practices!

    Cheers,
    Anmol

    Reply
  4. Rupal
    Rupal says:

    Anmol,

    How ironic that I was going to write you about how hard it is to begin meditation and to fit it into my day as I already have a few daily regiment (Pranayam, working out, cooking, going to work) all in the morning! I was going to write to you to actually tell you about these things that I already do and to say how would I fit in a 20 minute meditation practice in my day??

    After reading this article, I’ve however answered my own question and have committed to starting meditation tomorrow morning. I have decided to begin with 5 minutes and gradually build up. The 20 min. overwhelmed me and was trying to find excuses. So now, instead, I am happy to write about starting meditation. I WILL have to wake up 15 minutes earlier though. :)

    Thanks for the inspiration and the Golden Rule.

    Reply
  5. sandhya
    sandhya says:

    Hi Anmol,

    I Wish You A Very Happy, Memorable, and Wonderful Birthday!!! May God give you a very long life and blessings all through your life!

    Regards,
    Sandhya

    Reply
  6. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Sandhya,

    Great to hear that this article has done it’s job and got you to start your meditation practice. August 10, btw, is a great day to begin (it’s my birthday ;-).

    Best,
    Anmol

    Reply
  7. sandhya
    sandhya says:

    Hi Anmol,

    Only a few hours back , I had mailed to you and mentioned about being too lazy and not having the determination and consistency to sustain my practice and now after reading this article, I feel so ashamed of myself. I will start my meditation practice from today morning itself positively (the time is 12:59 am, August 10, 2008). It is a promise I am making to myself and to you.

    My heartfelt thanks,

    Regards,
    Sandhya

    Reply
  8. Nadege Lewis
    Nadege Lewis says:

    Meditation is one of the most beneficial practices that I know will only make me better the more I do it. When practiced consistently I reap the results directly. When not practiced consistently, I reap the results directly. :)

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] The Golden Rule to Stop Excuses and Start Meditation Now […]

  2. […] The most important aspect of yoga and meditation is TO DO IT .  Unless you get down to real practice, you are not going to enjoy the great many benefits that these profound sciences bestow.  One of the popular articles on the website is the Golden Rule to Stop Excuses and Start Meditation, which says don’t try to be perfect, instead if you can do something even at 70% just go ahead and start it.  Once you begin, things will start to take care of themselves. […]

  3. […] Finally the following article has been very useful to many readers in these categories: The Golden Rule to Stop Excuses and Start Meditation Now. […]

  4. […] Golden Rule to Stop Making Excuses and Start Meditation Now […]

  5. […] If you want to be a Rafael Nadal of meditation, you can’t be postponing starting or doing your daily spiritual work.  Procrastinating your meditation practice, means you are putting on hold developing your real human potential.  If you need inspiration check out the results of the following survey which asked the readers what their biggest mistake in life was: Important Life Lessons from the Biggest Mistakes in Life Survey.  Also, read The Golden Rule to Stop Excuses and Start Meditation Now. […]

  6. […] Golden Rule to Stop Making Excuses and Start Meditation Now […]

  7. […] I wrote about the golden rule in the article, How to Stop Making Excuses and Start Meditation Now.  This rule essentially says that don’t try to do things perfectly.  Instead just go for 70% of best and start.  Often perfectionism is the leading cause of procrastination, and a very effective method of overcoming such procrastination is by applying this rule.  Of course, this rule can be extended to other areas of your life and not just meditation. […]

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