Meditation improves happiness

Google’s ultimate meditation book

In the header of this post I intentionally avoided the actual book title “Search inside yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness” because I find it somehow tacky. Funny enough, the author, Google’s former engineer Chade-Meng Tan, agreed with that at the end of the book himself. Unlike the title, I have found the content of the book very practical and written in a concise manner. Chade crafted this book with its pragmatic approach to meditation for rational people like me. Backed by research, Tan’s message is strong: Commit to mindfulness, at least one breath a day. 

More than a month passed from reading this book, I have forgotten all about the studies Chade mentioned, despite calling myself earlier a rational person. What resonated with me however, were all the mindfulness and meditation techniques he described at the end of each chapter. Quite some time I was searching for a complementary source to app Headspace for my own meditation practice on YouTube, Spotify and App Store.  Unfortunately, I just wasn’t satisfied mostly with the voice-overs and music. I wouldn’t have thought actually the solution to my problem is simple – use a book instead. Search inside yourself is a great source for daily meditation practice.

My favorite mindfulness exercise from the book is “Just like me” exercise.

Try it for yourself. Sit comfortably, close your eyes and think of a person you like and admire.

Repeat the following mindfully: This person has a body and a mind, just like me. This person wants to be happy, just like me. etc. (I will not copy the whole script from the book here and leave it here for your imagination.) After you have spend few minutes finding all the similarities, think of a person with whom you experience any tension. Repeat the very same words you did before, but thinking of the other person. This person has a body and a mind, just like me. The power of this exercise is that the positive vibes you get at the beginning from thinking about your loved one translate into the second half of the  mindfulness session. With practice your attitude towards that difficult person changes.

At the end of this review, I wanted to use one of the quotes I have highlighted on Kindle from this book. However, I have liked better the quote that has been highlighted by the public the most, so I close with that:

Happiness is not something that you pursue; it is something you allow. Happiness is just being.

 

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