Book – Get Some Headspace (10 Minutes can make all the difference)
Author – Andy Puddicombe
Genre – Self-Help
Book Published in – 2011
Headspace does not mean being free from emotions, but rather existing in a place where you are at ease with whatever emotion is present.– Andy Puddicombe
Since you’re reading this post, I safely assume that you’re either considering meditation for some headspace or improving your overall well-being.
Andy with this book and Headspace program demystifies Meditation and makes it available and doable for everyone in as less as 10 minutes.
About the Book –
Get some headspace is the perfect book for not only people sitting on the bench pondering whether meditation is for them, but also for people who started meditation and feel they aren’t getting anywhere with it.
Andy shares amazing analogies while explaining meditation and its practice. It helped me grasp the concept and put them into practice simple.
The book shares three parts of training the mind for headspace – How to approach the technique (Meditation), how to practice it, and then how to integrate the technique into daily life.
The book is filled with small exercises and Andy encourages us to do them at the same time to get hang of it. I did all exercises while reading the book and I found them useful.
Here are excerpts from the book.
1) Meditation is an Experience –
- Andy claims that Meditation is as much skill as it is experience. As you define its purpose of it, you also define its experience of it.
- Meditation is simply a technique to provide you with the optimum conditions for practicing the skill of mindfulness.
Meditation isn’t about becoming a different person, a new person, or even a better person. It’s about training in awareness and understanding how and why we think and feel the way we do, and getting a healthy sense of perspective in the process.
2) What is Headspace?
- If mindfulness is the ability to be present, and meditation is the best way of learning that skill, then ‘headspace’ could be considered the outcome.
- Andy claims headspace is the place of contentment beyond what emotion is at play on the outside good or bad. Essentially, it’s ‘being OK’ with whatever thoughts you’re experiencing or emotions you’re feeling.
Part I – Approach to Technique
1) Meditation & Thoughts –
- Myth No 1 – The purpose of meditation is emptying the mind for good. The first thing to get straight is that meditation does not make you think! All it does is shine a big bright light on your mind so that you can see it more clearly. This bright light is awareness.
- It is in not doing that those moments arise. It is stepping back and allowing the mind to unwind in its own time and in its own way that you will find a genuine sense of headspace.
2) Meditation & Emotions –
- It doesn’t matter whether we’re trying to get rid of lots of thoughts, difficult emotions, or a painful feeling in the body, it’s all the same, it’s RESISTANCE.
- And as long as there’s resistance, there’s no room or acceptance. And as long as we don’t have acceptance, there’s no way of having a peaceful mind.
- If you can give up your desire to always experience pleasant things, at the same time give up your fear of experiencing unpleasant things, then you’ll have a quiet mind.
3) Gentle Curiosity –
- It’s a common mistake to make in meditation, to search for some kind of experience or want to be rewarded with some sign of progress or fruition, but peace of mind or insight will always be elusive if we are trying too hard to find it.
Part II – The Practice
At the heart of most meditation techniques is the intention to remain focused, relaxed, and with that natural quality of awareness.
Here is the Summary of 10 Minutes Meditation.
1) Getting Ready –
- Find a place to sit down comfortably, keeping a straight back.
- Ensure you’ll be left undisturbed during your meditation.
- Set the timer for 10 minutes.
2) Checking-In –
- Take 5 deep breaths, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth, and then gently close your eyes.
- Focus on the physical sensation of the body on the chair and the feet on the floor.
- Scan down through the body and notice which parts feel comfortable and relaxed, and which parts feel uncomfortable and tense.
- Notice how you’re feeling – i.e., what sort of mood you’re in right now.
3) Focusing the Mind –
- Notice where you feel the rising and falling sensation of the breath most strongly.
- Notice how each breath feels, the rhythm of it – whether it’s long or short, deep or shallow, rough or smooth.
- Gently count the breaths as you focus on the rising and falling sensation – 1 with the rise and 2 with the fall, upwards to a count of 10.
- Repeat this cycle between 5 and 10 times, or for as long as you have time available.
4) Finishing-Off –
- Let go of any focus at all, allowing the mind to be as busy or as still as it wants to be for about 20 seconds.
- Bring the mind back to the sensation of the body on the chair and the feet on the floor.
- Gently open your eyes and stand up when you feel ready.
Part III – Integration into Daily Life
To practice mindfulness in everyday life without doing even ten minutes of meditation a day is a bit like trying to build the foundations of a house on loose gravel.
It will work, but it will not be anywhere near as stable as if you built it on solid ground. However, the reverse is also true. What good is meditation if it doesn’t change the way you feel and behave in life?
Mindfulness exercises for everyday living include mindfulness for eating, walking, exercising, and sleeping.
Andy explains the benefits and tactics for all these four mindfulness exercises in the book really well and as you read through them, you’ll be surprised and open to putting them into practice.
Andy also shares amazing tips on how to part like the best time, a place to sit, what kind of clothes to wear, the importance of repetition, and trusting our own experience as we move forward with practice.
I have also created a video of a few quotes from the book. Please do subscribe to the YouTube channel for self-help books quotes- Myread4change –
Get some headspace is by far the most practical book I have read. Even if you have a remote interest in Meditation, I highly recommend this book. It will help you let go of all inhibitions and begin meditation with an open mind.
Hope this summary helped you understand what to expect from the book. You may check out the Headspace programs here.
If you like this book, you may also like 10-Minute Mindfulness by Barrie Davenport & S. J. Scott
Thank you for reading. Please leave a few words in the comment box.
Wishing you a peaceful life.