Artwork by TommyTheSquid

You’ve inherited a biological machine millions of years in the making. For millennium, your genes have been trying to keep themselves alive. Through trial-and-error, the flesh suit you embody has evolved.

One of the most basic and powerful programs all nervous system have is something called “The Orienting Reflex.” Walk into a room where someone is absorbed in a task, and make a sudden loud noise. What you see is the orienting reflex.

In less then a second, the nervous system stops all current behavior programs, the head swings toward the source of the sound, the eyes widen to maximize the amount of information processed, and they will take a sudden inhale of breath to prepare for action.

Be sure to apologize and explain your disturbance was done in the name of metaprogramming. After their face twists in confusion, leave abruptly.

This evolved program served as our most capable guard. This response has saved our genetic ancestors from death millions of times. It helped them avoid the snake-bite, the false step on the cliff, and the attack of the jaguar.

Because humans are the symbol manipulating creators we are (you take for granted that you can look at these words and you “hear” my mind in your mind,) this primal program gets triggered by all sorts of stimuli that shouldn’t activate it.

Every goddamn push notification from our phones, work email, or the voice of our boss can trigger this ancient self-preservation program. This can chronically exhaust us. Researchers have found that meditation can reduce the activation of this primal guardian.

How Should I Meditate?

Keep it simple. First thing when you wake up, set a timer for 5 minutes. Sit in whatever position is comfortable (I prefer position 4 with a pillow underneath instead of a stool.)

Choose to attempt to keep your awareness on the sensation of breathing.

Within seconds, you’ll notice you’ve began thinking about something. Your awareness has slipped from your breath into this thought stream.

This is actually the most important part of meditation. When you’ve noticed your awareness has slipped away, gently note what thought took you away (example: planning, back pain, last night’s dinner,) and return awareness to your breath.

This is it! It is that simple, and that devastatingly difficult.

The nature of (a part) of your mind is to produce thoughts as relentless as your heart beats. It is like an advisor to the King who is neurotically trying to offer the King advice. Before meditating, you’ll be unaware of how often you let this advisor determine how you rule. With a meditation practice, you begin to see that the advisor is insane, but genuine, and that you should be much more discriminate about which thoughts you accept to influence how you rule.

This ability to recognize which thoughts are worth your attachment, seems to be the same brain function that helps us not instinctually react to the maelstrom of push notifications that scream for our primordial threat detection program to activate.

More Meditation Research 

If you’re slightly insane like I am, and you want to review over 50 of the best studies looking at the benefits of meditation, I’ve created just such an article.

I truly think meditation is THE Metaprogramming foundation habit. Love you and Namasteezy.