Welcome to the MIT Qigong Blog

Saturday, February 2, 2013

TED Talk: Stepping back for 10 minutes a day

Andy Puddicombe describes the transformative power of doing just that: Refreshing your mind for 10 minutes a day, simply by being mindful and experiencing the present moment. 


"All it takes is 10 mindful minutes a day... We are so distracted that we are no longer present in the world in which we live. And the crazy thing is that most people believe that that is just the way it is, so let's get on with it. But that's just not how it has to be. When I first started meditating, I thought that it was just like aspirin for the mind. I didn't realize that meditation could be so preventive. I gave up everything and became a monk to completely give in to the present moment. By that, I mean, not being lost in thought, distracted, but instead, learning how to be in the here and now, mindful, present. I think the present moment is so under-rated, and yet we spend so little of our time there. Research has shown that humans spend almost 47% of their time lost in thought. In just ten minutes a day, you can impact your entire life. Meditation is familiarizing ourselves with the present moment. Most people assume that meditation is about stopping thoughts, controlling the mind. That's not true. It's about stepping back, watching the world with a relaxed, focused mind. It's only in learning to watch the mind in this way that we can learn to let go. Don't feel surprised if you feel a bit agitated when you first sit down to meditate. Meditation offers the opportunity to step back and get a different perspective and see that things aren't always as they appear. We can't always change every little thing that happens to us in our life... but we can change the way we experience it. You don't have to burn any incense or sit on the floor. Just take 10 minutes a day to step back and familiarize yourself with the present moment so you get to experience a better sense of focus, calm, and clarity in your life."