Volume 11, no. 2
Meditation: Tool for a Clear Mind and Competitive EdgeBy Arnie HerzWhat’s on your mind? For most of people, there’s a steady stream of ideas, concerns and musings—reams of information to digest and act on. Lawyers tend to consider the mind a great ally. After all, it churns out the clever insights about rules, arguments, and strategies that build your business and boost your reputation.Unfortunately, such productive thoughts usually come bundled with others that make you experience fear, anger, and stress. These challenging thoughts run something like this: Can I cover my overhead and mortgage this month? My adversary is such a jerk. What do I do now that the computer is down? This isn’t why I went to law school!Given the well-documented mind-body connection, all the unproductive thoughts you entertain daily inevitably take a toll on you physically. They promote a weakened immune system, raised blood pressure, and insomnia. Under their influence you feel burnt out, and your work and personal lives suffer.Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could control your mind’s inventory by cultivating useful and uplifting thoughts and disarming the useless and harmful ones? What a competitive edge you’d have. What a boon to be free of the physical fallout negative thoughts engender.This is not a fanciful notion. You can change your mind right now by retraining it. Like any new skill, it simply takes understanding and practice. And the foundational practice is meditation.Meditation rests on the premise that the mind works best when it’s quiet and poised. When the flow of thought slows to a trickle in meditation, any ideas, questions, and understanding that do arise are often inspired and profound.Imagine you’re listening to Beethoven on your car radio when, all of sudden, you’re flanked by SUVs blaring hard rock and rap. The dissonance is intense. You can’t hear the nuances and sweetness of your music. That’s just how it is with the mind. It serves us optimally when unencumbered by dissonant thoughts that don’t serve us at all. Meditation helps you turn down the mind’s noise and tune in to a place of calm and clarity.If this has whetted your appetite for meditation, stay tuned for the next article in this series: “Meditation: How to Get Started.”In the interim, if you want to try meditating, follow these simple instructions. Remember, even a few minutes are fine to begin with.Close the door, silence the phone, and take a seat with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on your lap. Closing your eyes, inhale deeply, and exhale long through your nose. Continue to breathe in this way, focusing on the rhythm and flow of your breath as it moves in and out. When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes and notice your improved state of being.
Arnie Herz is a lawyer, mediator, and speaker. He provides seminars and consulting services nationwide on conflict resolution, client counseling, and building skills, success, and satisfaction in the law. Visit his blog, Legal Sanity, at http://legalsanity.com, or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.