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…
- Don’t have time, because of family obligations, work obligations, etc…
- I am not able to concentrate; my mind jumps around like a monkey. My mind drifts.
- I am not able to sit still for very long.
- I have some time during the day but not enough for a serious practice.
- 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.
- I am waiting to get healthy and in shape first.
- It is too boring.
- It is too hard to do.
- I can’t do it regularly enough. I am too lazy or don’t have enough willpower.
- I don’t see any difference in me after meditating.
- I am not flexible enough to sit cross-legged.
- I don’t know how. I will start after I join a Yoga class or Monastery so I can learn and practice properly.
- I can’t get myself to stop watching television to make time for meditation.
- Will first learn to wake up at dawn then will meditate.
- Will first read the Vedas, Bible, Koran, Upanishads, Gita, Diamond Sutra and Heart Sutra so I am knowledgeable then I will start.
- I will start meditation after I retire or after earning enough money.
- I will meditate when I am older and done with family life so I can devote myself to it.
- I will meditate when I am done with my drinking, drugging and womanizing ways.
- I will start when I am done with my education.
- 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.