Bring back the gaps: An easy way to make time for meditation
There’s a force of nature in Sydney, Australia, by the name of Tom Cronin. He’s a stockbroker turned meditation teacher and, boy, is he inspiring.
Tom Cronin runs The Stillness Project, a global quest to return stillness ('the very essence of who we are') to the lives of millions of people, via meditation.
While we know how beneficial meditation can be, many of us say we simply don't have time. Or, we start and then stop because we haven't made it a habit. But Tom has a really clever way of making time in the day for meditation so that we can, in his words, bring back the gaps.
The 'gaps' are pockets of time in which we can meditate; when we can go within and breathe, and declutter physically and spiritually.
Tom teaches people how to find these gaps using his ‘72/20 method’.
In every 24-hour day, we each have 72 20-minute segments. The idea is to take just two of those 20-minute gaps and dedicate them to meditation.
If you think it’s difficult to find even two 20-minute gaps, Tom says you will find the gaps by simply starting.
For example, Tom used to lie in bed awake for nearly eight hours a night (due to stress) and wake up sluggish and slow. When he started meditating, he also started sleeping for a full eight hours a night. He woke refreshed, and he was energetic. He also used to have frequent stress responses to events in his day, every day. When he started meditating, that stress went away. His day expanded and his outlook improved. It became easier to find the time to meditate, and to want to do it.
Tom says spending just two 20-minute gaps in stillness, will make the other 70 gaps an amazing experience of creativity, adaptability, joy and love. He says:
Where are you allocating your 72 20-minute segments? I assure you, if you put two aside to sit in stillness, to immerse yourself in the beautiful, rich, restorative state of deep, quiet silence, the other 70 will just explode in joy and dynamic vitality. Once you discover that, you will find it very easy to put aside two gaps for mediation.
What do you think? Could you dedicate two lots of 20 minutes a day to change your life?
Here’s Tom’s video explaining the 72/20 method in more detail. (The main piece runs from about 4:50 to 8:40.)
And if you really are having trouble finding two 20-minute gaps in your day for meditation, you might enjoy Laura Vandekam’s international bestseller, 168 hours: you have more time than you think.