Day #284: Can you Sit Still for 5 Minutes?

The first time I heard this question, my first reaction was, ‘yeah sure. that’s simple’. However, after trying to sit still for 5 minutes and not do anything, I discovered it’s not as simple as it seems. It made me realize how much our lives have become filled with activities. Constantly buzzing phones, tweets and status updates.

Yet, this could be the most important skill you learn as young professionals .The person who asked me this question followed up with another query, ‘how do you want to change the world if you can’t sit still for 5 minutes?’ ‘Well, I don’t know’.

Since then a lot has changed. I do this everyday before starting work. Sit quietly for 5 minutes without doing anything. Just focusing on my breathing.It’s not easy I must say.However, I noticed I am more focused and centred and able to achieve more everyday once I do this.

And it’s extremely simple: take 5 minutes out of your extremely busy day (cat videos) to sit still and focus on your breath. Just keep the gentle fingertip of your attention on your breath as it comes into your body, and then goes out. When your mind wanders, take note of that, but then gently come back to the breath.

That’s it. No mantra, no emptying the mind, no perfect lotus position, no meditation hall or guru . Just pay attention to your breath. No need to push thoughts away, just come back.

That might seem too simple to matter much. And in truth, you won’t get miraculous effects after two minutes of meditation. You won’t reach nirvana, you won’t be suddenly calm all day long.

But you will probably feel a little calmer. You will have created a small space of undistractedness in a sea of distraction (Facebook). You will have learned to notice when your random thoughts pull your attention, urge you to go check on something.

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