I’ve always been interested in personal development and consider myself somewhat of a “spiritual person”, meaning that I believe there is something more to our reality than our physical senses can quantify.

I had heard a lot about the benefits of meditation over the years but for some reason found it really difficult to do on a regular basis. Then in 2004 I decided that I was going to see if I could do it for 15 minutes a day, every day, for 30 days. I wanted to do this for two reasons. First to see if there was any benefit from it, either singularly or from a cumulative effect. Secondly to show myself that I could be focused and disciplined when I chose to be.

The technique I chose is simple and somewhat challenging at the same time. I sit in a comfortable place where I am not likely to be disturbed for about 15 minutes. As I breathe in I count the breath, even visualizing the associated number, with the goal of letting go of all other thoughts. This usually works out to about 150 breaths. That being said I’ve never been devoid of all thought for very long, our brains are problem solving by nature and they want something to do. I simply realize that I am thinking a thought and choose to let it go.

The analogy I like to use to describe this process is that it’s somewhat like going to see a baseball game. You are sitting in the ballpark, there are people everywhere, making noise, walking around, etc., but you choose to focus on the game, regardless of the activity in the stadium. Most often you just accept that this activity is part of the experience of going to the ballpark and it doesn’t take away from your enjoyment of watching the game. In this case “the game” is the focus on the breath and “the people all around the stadium” are the thoughts. Make peace with the fact that you’ll have thoughts and that you can let them go just as easily as they come up.

I’ve been meditating like this every day now for over 14 years, and am very happy that I made it a regular part of my life. I feel that it has benefited me in countless ways. It has given me more clarity of thought, balance (emotionally/mentally/physically) and peacefulness. At times it is a subtle feeling, other times it is powerful and expansive. I look forward to “sitting” as part of my day, no matter if I am at home or traveling abroad.