You’ve probably heard the old Zen proverb: “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day– unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.” LOL, aren’t those zen masters funny? (Translation: No.) Or perhaps you’ve heard the maxim: “Yoga doesn’t take time, it gives time.” What does that even mean?! In our already busy lives, how can we find time to meditate for twenty minutes, or practice yoga for an hour? How can we even think about cramming one more thing in? Well that’s just it, you’re not cramming anything in– you’re stepping out. Allow me to elaborate.
Most of our activities exist inside linear time, but a few of them don’t. Sleep for example is something that happens outside of time. Have you ever had a dream that felt as though it lasted a hundred years, even if you only slept for a few hours? That’s outside of time. Meditation is another practice that allows us to step outside of time. Even if you only can spare five minutes, those five minutes bring you into contact with the timelessness that underlies our whole existence. And when you’ve touched the world underneath this world, every piece of your busy day rearranges itself. My humble advice is to find a daily practice that encourages stepping outside of time. There are plenty of mindfulness practices that support this, but don’t feel limited to only meditation, it can be chanting, breathing, gazing at a tree– it doesn’t have to be technical, it just has to work for you. And you have to do it, every day.
Doing anything every day is hard. I get it. But you do lots of things every day, don’t you? In fact I would venture to say the thing you do every day is your daily practice. Is that a scary thought? Have you just realized your daily practice is road rage, drinking coffee, posting on Instagram– ok, don’t panic, just change. Why not do one thing every day that supports your deeper self? And here’s the secret about practices that step outside of time– you don’t have to do them for a long time. You just have to do them consistently. I used to agonize about finding an hour every day to practice yoga, it was literally causing me anxiety. The very thing I chose to relieve my stress and worry was causing me bucket-loads of it. Then I just decided I would give myself over to Yoga for whatever time I had that day, thirty minutes, fifteen minutes– some days only five minutes. And guess what, my yoga practice leveled up immediately. Because it isn’t about the QUANTITY of time you spend in the timeless world; it’s the QUALITY of your intent. In fact I would assert that meditating for five minutes, three times a day is better than sitting for thirty minutes just once. Not that sitting for long periods of time isn’t tremendously valuable. Sometimes I’ll practice a certain breath technique for an hour or two, just to see how deep I can go. But if you are just looking for one thing to make your life more manageable, start small.
Now don’t misunderstand me here; if you have an hour or three to give to your spiritual practices, rock on with your enlightened self, and put in a good word for me with the Buddha please. But if you only have two minutes, start there. It seems like nothing, I know. But two minutes, even one minute of just listening to your heartbeat, or feeling your body breathe can CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Because while your life is flowering here where you can see it, the roots of your life are deep in the soil of the invisible world– and the only way to tend this deepest essence of yourself is to step outside of time. So let me give you permission to release all your spiritual ambition. You don’t have to be the greatest meditator in the world, or the the most limber yogi. You only have to find a few minutes every day to step OUTSIDE of time– and once you’ve gotten diligent about that– then the fun begins… noticing what steps INTO your life.
There is another world that holds this world. You have a larger life that is dreaming your day to day. But it’s easy to forget that. We live in a culture that encourages us to forget our soul’s purpose and just buy it on Amazon. So now more than ever we have to strive diligently to stay in touch with who we REALLY are. Who you really are has nothing to do with what you look like, how you make money, where you last vacationed– who you really are is only accessible when you step outside of time. When was the last time you let yourself have a meeting with your higher self? When did the demands of daily life outweigh the simple pleasures of being? When will you stop making excuses and sit down, this second, right now, and remember the you that dances outside of time– that has been dancing all this time waiting for you join in. Start today. Start right now. And keep at it.
Lots of love, Brandon