#71 – Meditation – How to get started

#71 – Meditation – How to get started

What is actually meditation? How could meditation help you in your personal growth or your entrepreneurial journey?

There are many ways to meditate, and there are many benefits to the practice. Today Erik and Emil break down their favorite ways to meditate so you can feel BETTER and be less distracted, Meditation – How to get started.

Summary

What is actually meditation? How could meditation help you in your personal growth or your entrepreneurial journey?

There are many ways to meditate, and there are many benefits to the practice. Today Erik and Emil break down their favorite ways to meditate so you can feel BETTER and be less distracted, Meditation – How to get started.

Today’s episode is a personal development episode, where Erik Bergman and Emil Ekvardt explore topics about how to grow as a person.

We are both personal development junkies and spend many hours every week sharing our ideas and reading about new things. This episode is great for you who want to learn about our latest perspective. We share lots of personal stories, talk about how it applies in our lives, and where we have learned it from.

Meditation – How to get started:

We start by defining what meditation actually is. Since it’s such a big word. We decide to divide it into active and passive meditation.

How much time do you have in your life where there are no distractions? We explore why silence and reflection are so important.

We explore when meditation is the most beneficial. What types of meditation works the best in emotional periods to feel better and be less distracted by negative thinking.

What do we mean by active meditation? How can it help reduce overthinking and lower anxiety?

We explore common mistakes when meditating. Like forcing fast results and thinking there are good or bad sessions.

Finally, we discuss which meditation apps have been the most meaningful for us.

https://www.headspace.com

Transcript

[00:00:50] What is actually meditation and how can meditation help you in your personal growth or on your entrepreneurial journey?

[00:01:00] And if you’ve never been meditating before? What’s a good way to start? Or if you’ve tried it already? How can you make it more enjoyable? These are some of the questions that we’re touching upon in today’s episode of the Becoming Great Dot.com podcast.

[00:01:19] And I am here, as always, with Eric Bergman, the founder of Great dot com. A good friend of mine. He has previously founded the company Catina Media that went from zero to 300 employees in five years.

[00:01:36] And he’s also teaching personal development and inspiring his over 100000 Instagram followers.

[00:01:44] Thank you. And if you’re new here, I’m here with my good friend Emery, quote, who was the first person joining me in great outcome over two years ago? Now, he is the host of this podcast, but also our podcast, great dot com talks with where he is interviewing charity organizations on the side of great outcome. He runs the Personal Development Life Coach Business, and he’s my creative sparring partner in everything that has to do with learning like this podcast, Instagram content, YouTube things, everything that I love to do.

[00:02:23] Yeah. Beautiful.

[00:02:24] And maybe this is even the first time you listen to the podcast. So becoming great dot com is we’re running this podcast to help you. To help you do wants to make the world better either through entrepreneurship or. Yes, if you want to make your own world better through personal development. And today’s topic is meditation. So let’s dive right into.

[00:02:57] So what is meditation?

[00:03:00] Meditation is this big word. And it is big because is it really big? But it’s big for the same reason that sports is a big word that can be anything from some crazy dude going down a ski hill, jump hosting those guys jump so far. Or for soccer. So meditation can be so, so many different things.

[00:03:21] It doesn’t mean that you have to sit in a lotus position in a cave in India. But for simplicity’s sake, we have divided in into two categories in this podcast, which is active meditation and passive meditation. And what is active meditation? Active meditation is more of the word. Most people might be thinking of when they hear meditation. It’s often a practice where you you might close your eyes, you might sit still and you place your attention on something. Often your breath and your practice is keeping your attention on one thing for the duration of the practice.

[00:04:06] Yeah, basically when people see someone sitting down. Eyes closed, really focused. Or really. That’s what we would call an active meditation.

[00:04:16] Exactly. But it doesn’t have to be your breath. For some people, that could be a walking meditation. It could be yoga. It could be listening to birdsong. What that word active means is that you’re refocusing your attention on something instead of getting distracted by your mind.

[00:04:35] And the difference here with passive meditation, then, is anything that you’re doing where you’re just being colomb simply. I know when we talk about passive meditation, to me, that is. Pretty much any time I’m in silence, so it’s I’m going for a walk. I don’t necessarily need to focus on my breath or focus on the birdsongs, but just not putting beautiful particles like this into my ears or not actively doing anything.

[00:05:05] I can let my mind wander, but I still belong to the silence. Innocence. Mm hmm. Or just sitting and looking out the window or even driving if I’m driving. But I’m not putting on the radio or I just let my mind wander to me. That’s them.

[00:05:25] Passive meditation. Would you agree to that? Yes. So anything where you take away.

[00:05:34] A lot of the inputs you often get from the outer world. So instead you can place your attention inside of yourself. Yeah. So do have some examples of what that could be. You gave a few.

[00:05:44] Well, the first thing that comes to mind is this analogy that you told me something way back about this inbox. So how the life we’re living today is like our e-mail inbox, what everything we see on TV, we hear everything we talk about kind of goes into our head like an unread email. And so information you’re saying becomes like an email. And yeah. And any information that we take on it becomes like an e-mail. And when we’re in in silence or when we just let our mind wander, that’s while driving. That’s why taking a walk or whatever is it’s like our mind gets the time to revisit that information. Open that inbox email and see what’s going on here. Is this important to me? Is it not important? Like, put it in the trash or at least act upon it.

[00:06:37] So it’s.

[00:06:38] That if you go to bed at night and our mind starts spinning around, we start thinking and thinking and thinking and thinking that that’s when our head starts going through that inbox and starts reading those unread emails. But if we’re in silence during the day or we let our create space for our mind to wander during the day, either on a walk or while driving or commuting in the subway or whatever it is that spinning Kenis that happened during the day. And we simply can go to bed, for example, with a at least a cleaner inbox.

[00:07:10] It’s not us flooded.

[00:07:14] So you would say then that the benefit of taking time to go through your mental emails during the day will allow someone to go to bed more relaxed instead of having a very active mind with a lot of thoughts. Do you have any other reasons? What do you get out of it or what happens to you if you don’t use passive meditation?

[00:07:37] So for me, I think that I get called on Marine general. I get a clearer head both.

[00:07:43] So I’ve always been a troubled sleeper for pretty much all of my life. And I’ve realized that getting more silence into my day or a bit more active meditations like just writing has been very beneficial. So especially in times when my head has been spending a lot when I go to bed. If I either before I go to bed or I simply go out of bed and I sit down and write down anything that comes into my head, I just ramble on and I can go on for 10 minutes or 30 minutes or so. Usually my mind quiets down and it feels like.

[00:08:22] Like, I’ve been listening to everything that our mind wanted to say. And then my mind don’t want to say that much more. It’s like I’ve been talking to someone and that person really wants to talk about their day or whatever. And if I just sit and listen to them for ten minutes or 30 minutes after a while, they get to feel that they’ve been listened to. And it feels like my mind acts that way if I’ve been writing. And I would say that’s an an active meditation in the sense that I’m actually doing something. It’s not active in the sense that I’m focused on my breath or anything. So once again, it’s difficult to really put this somewhere. But all in all, I feel that I like the analogy of an email inbox. It feels like I’m opening up the email inbox and it’s maybe it’s not everything’s dealt with, but at least I know what I need to deal with. I can see what’s structured, what’s important. So maybe it’s better like. To look into that e-mail and tag all the e-mails with different color coding or whatever, if it’s important or not. And it gives me. They’re both easier to fall asleep, but also call me during the day, I feel less stress, less worry, because otherwise it can feel like I have had this feeling something is not right. But I’m not really sure what.

[00:09:47] Who would benefit from spending more time without input?

[00:09:52] I don’t like the idea of thinking about what’s. When we’re our minds created and our minds were created tens of thousands of years ago on the savannah without Internet, without smartphones, without podcasts or social media. And my guess is that we had a lot of silence in our day when our mind was supposed to process things and our mind was supposed to like, relax and. Pretty much everyone who is not currently living on the savannah would probably benefit from more silence in their lives. And anyone who feels. Bored with silence. Probably needs it extra much. I can definitely relate to this myself, that especially previously I would always turn on something as soon as I walked out the door. I always had something in my years when I was driving. Always something and. The more that need is there, probably the more important it would be to be in silence.

[00:10:55] Mm hmm, yeah. Who would you say benefits from it? I would ask myself the question, do I have time in my day where I can let my mind wander? Yeah. And I think if there is no such time, at some point that e-mail box is going to have so many emails that it’s kind of create anxiety just to look at it. So if you’re someone that hasn’t checked your emails in years and you’re going to shot eight thousand e-mails like this, it’s not gonna be fun. So then there might be provoking anxiety even to look at it if it’s if you’re not used to not having input.

[00:11:33] Yeah, I know that your inbox is going to be extremely flooded. You don’t even want to type in the password.

[00:11:39] Exactly. And I think that’s when I’m speaking from my own experience, that when I started, I had appeared in my life where I didn’t have that space at all for many years. And then when I did put myself with no input, that was very painful because I got bored, I got anxiety. I it was hard for me just to be in silence.

[00:12:03] Were you, like, walking in silence then or were you sitting and really tried to do the meditate? Then I would I would look at that as like hard core meditation, the way I’ve seen meditation. You’re supposed to sit on a certain kind of pillow kind of straight back where that you tried to do from the beginning.

[00:12:20] Both I both tried active meditation and I both tried just going for a walk with no input. But I was so used to constantly listening to a podcast or looking at something, a TV. And my mind was so overstimulated that it was it was surprisingly difficult.

[00:12:41] I remember. Why is this so hard? Why? Why do I dislike this so much?

[00:12:48] Some of the complete side story on this one, something my my father is amazing at making different sounds with his mouth. He can play his teeth. He can place. Throat can make all kinds of noises. And I’m just guessing now that this is somewhat of a lost art that probably comes from being really bored in your childhood, having a lot of free time, where now no one would practice thing songs on their teeth, they would play with their smartphone.

[00:13:15] So I can imagine that’s what happened here as well. You seem to haven’t been bored, so you constantly fill it up with him, fill it up with new e-mails. Exactly. To not have to look at the old ones. Yeah. So venis a good one. Is that the most needed, would you say, saving your life to spend time in silence?

[00:13:35] Simply we if we stick to this email analogy. For me, the most beneficial time to be in silence has been. When I was going through your heartbreak. Me and me and Johanna, my current fiance, I actually. Well, when we broke up like three years ago, we were apart for four months. I really I spend a lot of time, years to walking. Not having anything in my ears. I deleted all social media apps and just being with those thoughts. And I believe if we stick to this email analogy, that the more really powerful or painful or important e-mails coming in. I mean, the more powerful emotions coming in. Let’s put it that way. Probably the more important is to actually deal with them and not leave them there. If you know that you have a very important e-mail coming from your boss or whatever it is. That’s probably an email that’s going to cause a lot of distraction for you if you don’t deal with it. And I believe it’s the same thing here with emotions or thoughts that if you’re going through a very emotional time, a very stressful time, just being in silence and let your mind think about it. Twist and turn it and my personal favors and write about it. Definitely. And say that’s one. It’s been the most helpful for me to focus on that.

[00:15:08] So is passive meditations are mainly this walking or just being in silence. But what is the active meditations?

[00:15:19] Active meditation for me is anything where instead of just letting your mind wander. You do the exact opposite, meaning that you choose something to focus your attention on. And whenever the mind starts to wander, which it will, your only task is to bring it back to the focal point of your attention, which I in my case is the breath. I always use my breath. But it could be anything.

[00:15:47] Ok, so meaning that you’re sitting and you’re thinking about your breath and you’re aware of where your thoughts are wondering. So whenever you find yourself thinking about work or thinking about food or whatever you kind of are, oh there. The fourth went away and you pick it back to the breath.

[00:16:05] Exactly. So I’m not really thinking of my breath. I’m focusing on my breath. I’m wing aware of it. And then when I get distracted, then I practice noticing that I’m just distracted. So the whole point of active meditation is to have a mind that is less distracted. And I result for me is more ability to focus and increase in general happiness. A clear decrease in if I don’t meditate for a couple of days. That’s no problem. I’ve been meditating for almost 10 years now. But if I don’t do it for a week or two weeks, which rarely happens, then I start to feel a clear increase in anxiety symptoms, increase in being generally distracted and confused.

[00:16:55] Okay, so first thing is touched upon. There was not really thinking about the birth, but focusing on it. Would you say that focus with it is the same thing as feeling it. So let’s say thoughts happening in mind. Feelings happens in the body. We kind of exciting feeling the excitement, anything.

[00:17:13] So if you take up your hand and you see this in the video and now folk, if you close your eyes, how can you know that you have a hand?

[00:17:21] Yeah, feel it. You have to feel it right? I can’t think about it. So if you try this at home as well. And feel inside of your hand. You can’t think at the same time as you feed your hand, right? So you get out of the thinking mind and the result of that is fewer thoughts, but clear thoughts and also an increased ability to notice when at least I’m thinking thoughts that are not so helpful for me.

[00:17:50] Yeah, I can see that. And you said the benefits were more focused, less anxiety and a lot of different things. Yeah, it sounds to me like.

[00:18:01] It would be the same benefits as. Being more rested in general, like having better sleep, even though you’re not actively sleeping or and for that matter, having a less stressful life environment. Yeah. So it’s kind of solves in a sense or at least improves to bomb those things.

[00:18:21] Exactly. All of those things work really well together. And meditation is not something that fluffy that you only do in a cave in India anymore, does a lot of science on it. That proves that you get this really wide benefit. It’s like it helps relationships. It helps happiness. It helps focus. It helps sleeps. All these really broad things. My experience is that meditation makes my life a couple of percent better in a lot of areas, which is a really good tradeoff for 10, 15, 20 minutes a day. I spend doing it because you do it for 10 to 20 minutes per day. What is it that you do?

[00:19:01] So I think one of the biggest mistakes that I did when I started meditating was that I was in my twenties, not the most humble fellow. I was gonna do this all on my own, which made it take a lot of longer time to learn it. And I think my meditation got worse because today I use guided meditations. Most of the time I use an app. I tried a couple of them, the one I use right now. And that, I think is the easiest for a beginner. It’s called Headspace and I think that’s also one. I have no affiliation with that app, but I think that’s one of the biggest ones. And it’s very it’s very good for beginners and advanced meditators.

[00:19:39] Yeah, I used to like three years ago, you know, as it were. Well, it’s basically just a voice telling you what to do. And you sit listened to it for no mistake. I did. So a lot that I started with 20 minute sessions. Yeah. Which was way too long for me, so I gave up on it. Twenty minutes is surprisingly long. Yeah. And then I went down and did it for ten minutes. And that’s like five times easier. You could think that that 20 minutes is twice as hard to ten minutes, but definitely, at least for me it was five times as hard to do. 20 minutes as ten minutes.

[00:20:10] It is 20 minutes. Can feel like a long time. So long time, at least in my head. And that was one of the biggest mistakes I did when I started as well, because I’m one of these people and I know you’re the same. I suspect people listening to this broadcast, entrepreneurial types might have the personality that says I’m interested in something. I’m going to get quick results because I want to feel what it feels like to master this. And I think that’s a beautiful mentality in general. But with meditation, it’s much better to do 10 minutes a day for a week than it is to do a 70 minute sessions. Yeah, it’s kind of like training. Your mind is like training a muscle at the gym. And if you never worked out before, you go to the gym and you hire a personal trainer that makes it to a six hour long session, working every muscle in your body, taking your cardio to the max. How would you feel the next day? I wouldn’t feel I would be dead. Yeah, and maybe not when I come back last year. That’s not the best way to grow muscle. But you grow muscle by going to the gym regularly for years. So expecting quick results and overdo it was a mistake. I did in the beginning.

[00:21:24] Yeah, I can see it’s very similar to going to the gym. Like the most important thing is to keep going except building that habit. Even if you just go for five minutes per day to the gym, if you keep doing it for a long time. Yeah. He’s gonna be a lot easier to do. Ten minutes. 20 minutes. An hour. Yes. Later on. But if you start with a six hour session, you’re probably not going back. Yeah.

[00:21:45] And it’s so much more important. The hardest part about meditation is to build a habit. Yeah, that’s much more important as well than how you do it. How you do it isn’t as important. And to build a habit. In my opinion, it needs to be fun. Yeah. For it to be fun, you can’t create negative associations with it.

[00:22:04] Okay, so let’s say someone wants to start meditating. They’re never done it before. Yeah. Would you say that. The easier it is, the better it is when you’re starting out. Yeah.

[00:22:15] The more fun it is, like the more you can find a way to do it for you. That is enjoyable. Yeah. Regardless if you’re walking or anything. And don’t put, I think, a big mistake I did in the beginning was that I’m gonna do this right. Yeah. And I had this mindset that there was good sessions and bad sessions and if my mind was distracted I was failing comp.. I was calm. And then when I failed, I started to feel bad about myself. And I did put in way too much effort or I kind of gave up keeping it simple, trying different way to see what you enjoy.

[00:22:50] Not making it such a big deal if you missed a session or not or whatever it is. And if that’s walking or downloading an app or whatever it is, you know, starting putting the bar low and saying, like, okay, my goal is to find a way to enjoy this, you know, rather than I’m gonna find a way to do one hour a day for one month.

[00:23:13] Something that has really helped me as well that I’m thinking of now is in any habit I create to do it at a similar time each day I have found to be very helpful. So I always meditate the same time. Every day I go to the gym pretty much the same time every day. And that really helps, too, because then I don’t look in other things there and because I’m a guy who often puts too many things on my schedule. And that means that anything that has to do with. And I’m also very forward moving. So everything that has to do with well-being or rest can easily be outvoted by overoptimistic. In doing so. I need to kind of plan around that.

[00:24:01] Okay. Is a good time for meditation then. Would be to do it before you start doing other things. I do it in the morning though. It works very well for me to set aside a few minutes. Ten minutes. Fifteen minutes. Yeah. Start small and see if you like it. Yeah.

[00:24:15] Try something like headspace if you don’t want to pay for an app and there are free ones on Spotify or YouTube. If you’re a little bit of a more advanced meditator or you have been doing it for a while and want to take it to the next level. I have used an app called Waking Up by a guy called Sam Harris and he has a 50 day long meditation series that helped me deepen my practice. So that could be something for you. That is more.

[00:24:45] Okay, so we’ll put the links to both headspace and waking up in the description. Yeah. What can someone do to help us who serve, if you like this podcast and you want to support us? One thing that we would really like is if you go to a podcast up, whatever, once you’re using and you press the subscribe button, because the reason why this is so important is that we’re a teeny, tiny podcast. And if you’re getting into topless or not, doesn’t mean that you have the most listeners. It means that you have the highest percentage of people pressing subscribe. So we actually have a chance of getting into top lists, even though we’re not big. So that simple thing that you do and you click subscribe makes a big difference for us. And the same goes if you do it on YouTube. If you’re clicking subscribe on YouTube, it’s easier for us to get as recommended videos and be seen everywhere else. So please do that and we can keep producing content for you. Thanks for listening and thanks for being here with me today. Thank you.

[00:25:55] See you next week. Cheers.