Not long ago, a friend of mine shared that he had started meditating, and he couldn’t believe how challenging it was. I laughed and jokingly said “Oh c’mon, all you have to do is SIT there”. I was in fact just kidding; I had spent a lot of time doing yoga and meditating years ago, so I was well aware of how hard it can be to set up a discipline of useful meditation and stick to it. In my smugness, I had forgotten just HOW challenging it can be. The day after my friend mentioned this, I thought “wow, I’ve really neglected that idea, maybe it would do me some good”. So that evening, I sliced out a little time, lit a candle, and sat in a basic full lotus, taking a perverse pride in even being able to do so comfortably. I started some simple breathing and mind-clearing methods I had used years ago, methods based on that weird new-age amalgam of TM and Buddhist techniques that seemed to evolve some time after the 70’s. Basic stuff. And you know what? NOTHING WAS WORKING! I couldn’t get certain parts of me to relax, the breathing felt forced and contrived, and my mind? Oh my God, my MIND WAS A RELENTLESS CHITTERING MESS OF JIBBER JABBER. It took some work, and a little trick I learned in Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now. The trick is to ask your mind what it’s going to think next. Sounds silly, but this works for me almost any time of day, and it worked here. It’s like your mind doesn’t like being told when to think. I’ve slowly been integrating some meditation into my routine, and it’s really helping me get back to a centered, calm way of functioning that can be really beneficial, ESPECIALLY in fast-paced, high-stress work environments. When you find that calm, strong center, it feels like you’re Neo in The Matrix, and you can operate on bullet time, deftly and calmly sorting out and managing the events going on around you. Want to get your ass kicked? Try sitting on it!