If the idea of not giving a f… does not get you excited, then nothing will. More than a decade ago, Jon Lajoie created a series of funny videos covering many topics. One of them was called not giving a fuck; here is the link to Jon Lajoie YouTube.
I remember the first time I watch them. I found myself caught between wanting to laugh and wanting to start a new Stoic philosophical school with the determination of teaching others “The art of not giving a f…”. I am glad someone wrote a book with a similar title, not giving a f… about certain things should be a subject for any primary school curriculum.
Honestly, are you not tired of spending time on digital devices in a rollercoaster of political propaganda, hundreds of TV shows, advertisement campaigns, and slim-looking yogis with their gorgeous health-guru partners? I know I am.
After years of being fooled by stimuli, I decided to use three tools that showed me how to unplug from such diverse entertainment mechanisms.
It all starts with breaths, Step # 1
Yes, you heard that right. Breathing! By the way, breathing is the main topic of another John Lajoie video, and I am not joking; here is the link, Breathing Commercial Jon Lajoie.
Breathing has been around since we were swimming in the pond, way before cave dwellers decided to start drawing their fears upon the wall where the neighborhood used to go for council.
Breathing awareness is something we must master as a thanksgiving act towards our long-gone forefathers. Somewhere in the line of ancestors you have, someone is going to thank you for beginning this journey.
Now, this is how we are going to start.
- Take a step back, place your hands on your chest, and take five deep breaths.
- Once you reach the fifth, hold your breath for 10 seconds and resume breathing normally.
- Wait for some seconds and repeat the process five times.
- Observe how your body and your mind react to this. Make sure your inner attention is only on breathing as it comes in and out.
If you feel sudden restful energy within you, you are on the right path, and if you want to further this practice, I can help you, for sure. But remember that you don’t need anyone reminding you of how to pay attention to certain things. We are responsible for our path. So find those simple tools that can help you achieve a sense of presence, and you should be fine.
Breathing is for humans like water is for plants; it is a natural thing. However, to use breathing as a meditation tool, you need to be aware of its happening. Tweaking how we observe, experience, and appreciate breath goes long into caring for our health.
Not before long, you are going to start seeing some positive effects from practicing what expensive health experts charge a lot for, and all it takes is maybe fifteen minutes a day.
Step # 2. Sensing your senses sensing the world around you.
It may come as a surprise to you, but there are tiny little groups of inspectors living on your skin. They are constantly learning about the environment around and inside your body.
Through transduction, they are constantly sending electro signals based on stimulus detected by receptors, generating a sort of report card. If this intel is vital enough or crucial, it reaches your nervous system. Of course, then you go crazy reacting to all of that input, but let’s not give too much of a f… about why we are addicted to social media, coffee, tv shows, and chocolate, and continue with our practice.
At the same time that you are doing those breathing exercises, I would love it if you concentrated on something else as well. So, let’s try your fingers.
- As you breathe in, move the right-hand fingers on top of your left-hand fingers.
- You are simply touching, gently and slowly. Again, observing the sensations and the in and out of your breath, as mention in step # 1.
- Do this for at least 10 minutes, or as long as you want.
The principal idea is to combine both exercises, to give your mind something else to do besides returning to the last episode of Broken Mirror, Game of Thrones, Alone or relieving once more that time you jumped in a parachute.
Step # 3. To see while seeing what we see
According to new studies…. sorry, I won’t write a sentence like that for you. I respect you too much, especially if you have made it this far in this article. Besides, I am putting together a book called “Where am I?”, where I will cover many simple ways to be present without too much effort by applying fundamental concepts of self-awareness.
Here we go! Step three is quite simple. Since we all are used to watching good movies, and most music videos we watch entertain our senses (remember those receptors?), we know how to be attentive with our eyes. All we need to do is adjust our gaze a little differently.
After you have done the breathwork in step # 1 and the sensory noticing in step # 2, and you are beginning to recognize that you can quiet your mind by simply paying attention to your breathing and the sensations of your hands, now:
- I want you to look at something.
- This object could be a picture in the wall, a specific color, even a tall tree in your backyard. The eyes of someone you love (but be careful with this. It is a practice taught in Tantric schools, and it is significantly advance), a lake, or anything large enough to keep your gaze fully engage on it. A dot in the wall works too.
- While still paying attention to your breath, and feeling the sensations of your hands, now fix your gaze on the object you have chosen.
- This type of gaze is all about just observing. Ensure your mind is not engaged in describing what it sees or measuring distances or anything like that. It is all about observing without much effort.
The first three or four times you put these three steps together will be a challenge. But, as you turn it into a daily routine, things are going to start to change. Slowly but surely, a feeling of ownership of how you spend your time will build within you, and this, I promise.
When you see the results of these simple exercises, you will probably be as surprised as I was when I started that journey. You will probably think, “how come no one ever mentions this?”.
Keep up the practice, and if you are interested in continuing this self-knowledge journey, or even if you are just curious about finding out how you can be more present by learning essential meditation tools you can follow, stick around. Meditation is more straightforward than you think.
It takes a tribe to make sure we learn how to “not give a fuck to give more than just a f…” about things in our life, especially those that matter.
Stay healthy in mind, spirit, and body!