Why Meditate – Matthieu Ricard

The Ultimate reason:

The better we are, the more we can do to change the world.

Calmness, Kindness, and Neuroplasticity:

Our brains is constantly evolving (plasticity) and so the more we practice a skill, the better and faster we get at it.

Sitting with Dignity:

How you sit matters; there are 7 steps mentioned but not covered in PN, instead he talks about how in Wherever you go, There you are – when someone tells you to sit in dignity, you instinctively know what to do.

Working out our Mindfulness Muscle:

Similar ideas to Head space – when you notice your mind has wandered, bring it back and acknowledge that you caught it as oppose to being sad that it happened in the first place.

Little by Little is the way to Roll:

Take your time growing your meditation habits – you’re much better off doing small amounts everyday vs a lot at once (think about physical training)

WHAT’S YOUR MOOD GOT TO DO WITH IT?:

Simply put – nothing – the more you don’t feel like meditating, the more valuable it is to meditate (also a great way to build up self discipline)

THREE TIMES:

Meditation is not just about the present, it’s about accepting the past and making the most of the current to get you to the future you want

THOUGHT AFTER THOUGHT, EMOTION BY EMOTION:

You are striving to be a little bit better every time – it’s a never ending road

PICKPOCKETS & FOREST FIRES:

If you can catch your negative thoughts right as they happen, you can deal with it accordingly and it won’t be able to affect your day

PULLING YOUR PLANTS:

Stop expecting immediate results, it takes time to build up the benefits of meditation just like finances and anything else that is actually important

My Thoughts

I think the majority of these concepts are things I’m already familiar with and understand. Most of these come from Headspace and initial research into the benefits of meditation. I am interested in learning more about sitting postures, particularly since I was at a party yesterday and they talked about how western sitting is actually terrible for the body. I really appreciated the concept of little by little you will get better as it makes it easier to create a habit that I can schedule into my day every day. The concept of three times is also really interesting and something I will to explore in my meditations going forward.

In terms of whether I will buy the book, at this point, I don’t think so. I seem to be on the right track and besides not getting the sitting posture, there isn’t much else I think I’ll get (relative to reading other books). If there are more concepts you’re interested in exploring or quotes you’d like to be inspired with, sign up for Brian Johnson’s Philosopher’s Notes or buy the book here (please note that I will be getting a small amount from Amazon, though it does not affect how much you pay – Amazon just makes less money than if you were to go onto the website yourself). I also suggest you check out the actual Philosopher’s Notes (note they even have courses that consolidate many of the concepts in the books that Brian Joshnson covers and puts them into videos that are really easy to digest). This is the first program that I’ve signed up for and am definitely getting my money’s worth!

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