Most days, whenever it fits our schedules, my wife and I sit in our living room with a timer set for 10 minutes. During that important time, we do nothing. Well, it is actually impossible to literally do nothing, but we move very little, if at all. We don't speak or change positions or answer email. We keep our eyes fixed on the same point and we concentrate on our breath. We experience our breath. When we catch ourselves thinking about something of interest, we have struck one of those golden moments. We bring our eyes back to the same point and we gently put our attention back on our breathing.
We do what can be called "secular meditation". That activity is what Dan Harris, ABC newsman, discusses in his excellently written book "10% Happier". The book's title is actually "10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Really Works." You can see why I refer to the book as "10% Happier" for short. This daily habit is actually an ancient practice. Dan Harris's book explains how and why he began meditating, what modern evidence and experience are doing to convince all sorts of people, from grade schoolers to FBI agents, from salesmen to athletes, to take up the habit, too.
I began studying this daily habit for what it might do for me, for school children, for adults in about 1980. 10% Happier is the best written, most comprehensive and most useable book I have found about how to use mediation in a daily way. I highly recommend reading it through, maybe more than once. It is available for downloading to a computer, a Kindle, an iPad, an iPhone or other smartphone from Amazon.com for $11. Besides, all that it is fun to read and interesting. Harris meets in person with a very good collection of the modern American teachers of this habit.
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