THE PRACTICE OF MEDITATION
We are always in thought and it doesn’t change while meditating; what meditation is trying to do is getting us to observe our thoughts as oppose to being at the center or our thoughts
STRENGTHENING OUR SAMADHI MUSCLES
Samadhi is like what improves our concentration – by focusing solely on each breath coming an leaving the body, you end up improving your samadhi which in turn improves your concentration
WHAT’S YOUR WHY?
It’s hard to keep meditating if you don’t have an underlying thing you want to accomplish. I really like how Brian states that it’s virtually impossible to have two bad days in a row (since I started meditating daily two or so months ago, I realized I haven’t even had one bad day).
PRACTICE EVERY MOMENT
Meditating shouldn’t just be a one time thing each day, you should be trying to go back to it throughout your day. I just reached this point in Headspace – my goal is to now become present everytime I get myself water throughout the day.
BECOMING FULL HUMAN BEINGS
Meditation isn’t a word that existed in Pali (Buddha’s original language) – a frequent word that was used was Bhvana (“development through mental training”) – this means that meditation is really the development through mental training.
THOUGHTS AND WATERFALLS
Meditation isn’t about positive thinking, it’s about being able to observe the thoughts themselves – similarly to being behind a waterfall and not being stuck in it.
SITTING WITH DIGNITY
If we slump, we’re reflecting low energy, lack of clarity; but if we’re sitting too straight, we’re tense and trying to hard. So try sitting with dignity.
Becoming a person who can get things done whether they feel like it or not is huge in life – that’s why waking up early to meditate has so much value.
Similar to how a boat needs to anchor or risk drifting away, when meditating, you should try to use your breath as an anchor and just being aware of the breath moving in and out.
YOUR JOB WITH A CAPITAL J
Meditation is not the end goal, but rather a means to get you to become better to reach your own goals. This connects really well to the “what’s your why” concept.
Besides the sitting with dignity, this is exactly what I’ve been taught through headspace. That said, I think it brought me more confidence that headspace is the right way to go. In terms of concepts, I do notice that I am a lot happier (or zen) with my days. Something I’d like to emphasize is that it takes time to build up your concentration and so the first few weeks are going to feel pretty hard. However, if you really work on your why, you’ll make it through those first few weeks!
As for whether I’ll buy this book, I don’t think so. Headspace has taught me everything that was mentioned on this Philisophers Notes. However, all of these are very important topics and so if you’d like to start conceptualizing meditation or you are finding it hard to understand some of these ideas, this book may be what you need. 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!