I’ve made no secret of my interest in meditation over the last few years. It’s become a more or less daily habit that brings me great satisfaction and, a real sense of – I’m not quite sure how to describe it – joy? Inner peace? Tranquility?
It’s a practice that, for me, is difficult to translate into tangible benefits. What I can say though, is that I relish the time spent in meditation. Time invested in cultivating a detached awareness of the various facets of being that I’d otherwise take for granted (physical sensations, emotions and thoughts typically). And, I believe the time spent in meditation impacts and enhances my ability to be present and maintain focus in various areas of my life when I’m not meditating; when I’m working, spending time with family and friends, exercising etc.
I heard a turn of phrase while listening to a podcast yesterday that gave me pause and helped me frame the habit further:
Polishing the lense
When I’m meditating, I’m polishing the lense I view the world through. Not only that; I’m cleaning the lense through which I look at myself. The lense through which, in some sense, I have a relationship with both my internal and external worlds.
Framed like that, the practice takes on even more importance to me. Since, who wants to look at anything through a dirty lense?
- The phrase came from a podcast I was listening to: Dan Harris’s Waking Up, The Science of Meditation episode.
- I’ve been enjoying Robert Day’s series of blogposts on the Book of Five Rings. Lots of valuable insights into how the nine principles of the Samurai Way of Strategy apply to testing.
- At some point I may get around to finishing my own data science and python studies. In the meantime, this list of resources looks to be a useful one.
- A few years back, I got a lot of value from Gay Hendricks’ book, The Big Leap. So much so that I gifted it to a number of colleagues I was working with at the time, who also found it useful. My wife informs me he has a new book out, The Joy of Genius. So, that’s on the stack.
- I mentioned on Twitter that probably my favourite piece of software is XMind. I’ve been using it a ton recently for various pieces of analysis and, to be honest, I think I’d be lost without it. I’ve been a pro user for a number of years now; they used to have a free tier but I think that’s gone now (though you can still do a lengthy trial). If you’ve never tried mind mapping then I heartily recommend giving it a try. And by way of tooling, there’s none better IMHO than XMind.