Archive for the ‘meditation’ Tag


Here is a cool inspirational video on what running is about for so many of us!


Today is a rest day in my current training program, and rest days are good days to re-focus on goals and reflect especially on developing leadership competence and character. I am reading an outstanding book entitled Team Secrets of the Navy SEALs by Robert Needham. Needham is a currently active Navy SEAL. I have a feeling that the publishers picked the long wordy esoteric sounding title, not Needham, because this is a very straightforward text on leadership in the context of high performing teams.

There is so much good info in this text that summarizing it would never capture it all sufficiently. My plan is to share my highlights and notes with you chapter by chapter. You’ll get some main points, and if you figure out you want the full story you can go out and hunt down a copy. Team leadership development is a core component of the Great River Tactical Fitness Center (GRTFC) training model. If you want more information or want to get yourself or your team engaged, contact me – Tom Delaney – at

Here is the first installment of my highlights and notes. In the text below, sections of text from Needham’s book are in quotes, and my notes follow. Write this stuff down. Think about it. Apply it in your own situation. Keep what works and throw the rest away! Adapt, adapt, adapt …

Chapter 1 – Leading the Best (Part 1)

“Every moment of a SEAL’s life is geared toward the development, education, and honing of the Team! The word ‘Team’ encompasses everything from the sixteen-man platoon to our entire country and way of life.” –See my previous post on Navy SEAL Ethos and consider the term “team” as referring to your friends and family, as well as the implications.

“You can’t think only of yourself and those factors affecting or stressing your life. Everyone’s life depends on each member thinking as one. The ‘poor me’ attitude is poison and is a mjor hurdle in any group dynamic.” – What I observe most often with the mentality that blames others for problems, is that it serves as a false excuse from taking responsibility. A person who wallows in self-pity and blames others for their problems will have a hard time taking charge of making positive change in their life, and repositioning themselves to be a support to others.

“If you have been assigned a task, you had better seriously evaluate your ability to complete it before accepting it…carefully assess the situations at hand and take on any challenge you feel that, through the combined effort of you and your Team, you will be able to accomplish.” – This places probability of success as the decisive factor. Not probability of fame, favor or fortune.

“Remember that once you have committed, you are in. If you suddenly find that you’re in over your head, you had better sprout gils and come up with a way to complete the task properly. …If you need to reset, do so after careful consideration of the consequences and after developing other possible solutions.” — I’ve talked about this quote in a previous post, in terms of technical versus adaptive problems and leadership. The ability to adapt is a core competency for team leadership, because the fundamental nature of reality is one of constant change. Failure to adapt inevitably leads to a failure to survive and thrive. On a deeper level, the ability to adapt is also linked to a leadership character trait of openness to change. Even better, a leadership attitude of expecting a necessity for change, and actively seeking out the advantageous opportunities for positive change. If you live your life expecting to regularly review your beliefs, views, attitudes and modes of living, and subsequently identifying and eliminating the unrealistic and outdated of these, you will be living well.

“Team Concepts for the Individual: Never Quit!” – Enough said!

“You are only as strong as your weakest team member.” – I look at this as a reminder to be realistic in goal setting and planning for contingencies. Overconfidence can result in worse problems than a plan was originally designed to solve. ON an individual level, if you look at your own body as your team, the implication is a caution against thinking that your strengths will compensate for your weaknesses or injuries. You have to address those weaknesses or injuries in your personal plan, whether they be underdeveloped muscle groups, your weight, or an unhealthy habit.

“Surround yourself with ‘operators,’ those who perform, always being mindful of the difference between the person you just like to have around and the one you and your Team need to succeed.” – There are obvious work implications, but on a personal level, the implication is that it is very important to surround yourself with people who actively share common commitments with you. There are plenty of fun people in this world, they’re good people, and they are liked. However, if you have set a difficult goal, are training hard to achieve it, are engaging with physical and psychological obstacles in a very involved and intense way, you need “operators” with you, not “good time people.” Sometimes you can get lucky and have an operator who is also a good time friend! But – AND THIS IS IMPORTANT – if you need to make a choice…go with the operator every time.

… stay tuned for more in this Leadership in the Leaning Rest series I am running. Train hard, never quit, live well! – Tom

Meditation and the Brain   Leave a comment

Check out this TED talk video featuring Harvard University’s Sara Lazar. Lazar uses brain imaging to demonstrate how meditation can actually change the size of key regions of our brain, improving memory, attention and resiliency under stress. If meditation isn’t part of your training, you are missing out.

Practice Session for February 6, 2012   Leave a comment

It’s been a while since I posted up my own “workout” and in the past weeks I have really worked on establishing a daily “practice” as defined by Michael Murphy and George Leonard. My numbers are a little down perhaps owing to coming off the flu this past weekend, but anyway here’s my practice for today:

1. 30 minutes Taijiquan (24 Form)
2. 5K run with 20 lb weighted vest (approx. 30 min.)
3. Regular Perfect Push-ups: 10,4,5
4. Goblet Squat (20 lb): 6
5. BOSU Crunches: 10 Center, 10 Left, 10 Center, 10 Right, 10 Center
6. Eight-count Perfect Push-up Burpees: 4
7. Wide Perfect Push-ups: 1,1,1
8. Perfect Push-up Mountain Climbers: 5
9. BOSU Flutter Kicks: 5
10. Eight-count Perfect Push-up Burpees: 3
11. Narrow Perfoect Push-ups: 6
12. BOSU Star Jumpers: 30
13. BOSU Sky Jumpers: 30
14. Eight-count Perfect Push-up Burpees: 1
15. Regular Perfect Push-ups: 6,2,2
16. Lunges (5 lb x 2): 3
17. BOSU Hello Dollies: —
18. Pull-ups with Leg Extension: 1,1
19. Chin-ups with Leg Extension: 1,2,1
20. Commando Pull-ups with Leg Extension: 1,1
21. Dips: 1,1
22. Stretching Cool-down
23. 15 minutes of sitting meditation
24. 5 minutes of walking meditation

Finishing up reading George Leonard’s The Silent Pulse.

– Tom Delaney, 6 February 2012

Jack LaLanne on Worry   Leave a comment

Here is some classic wisdom from Jack LaLanne for today. This information will save your life.

Scott Sonnon on Meditation   Leave a comment

Scott Sonnon recently authored a succinct meditation exercise that can be used as a warm-up for physical training. You can read the original text HERE. I am reproducing it below:

Meditation does not need to be complicated, and has concrete, scientific explanations when approaching it from the perspective of proprioception, in particular mechanoreception (the three senses of kinesthesia/movement, skeletal/position and force/tension). To reconnect your awareness to what’s actually occurring within your body, perform this short meditation before you warmup for your workout. And then make your warmup specific to the tension you detect.

1. Stand comfortably in a relaxed position with arms held at your sides.

2. Beginning at the top of your head, move your awareness down the front of your body as though your mind were making a mold of the front of your body. Continue down to your feet, creating your “mold” and checking for areas that feel particularly tight.

3. Repeat this process down the back of your body, then down the left side, then down the right side.

4. Beginning at the top of your head, feel down the inside of your body from head to toe, again searching for areas of tension or pain. These are the areas that you will focus on in the flows that follow.

5. The last step is to focus your awareness on the totality of the “mold” that you’ve created. You will now use a breathing method to help enhance your proprioceptive awareness of your surroundings. This breathing method is only used during this stage and should NOT be continued into the actual warmup and workout. When performing any exercise, adhere to the guidelines of exhaling through the effort phase of any movement.

6. Breathe in. As you do so, feel like you are sucking the mold into the core of your body. As you exhale, expand the mold out 360 degrees around your body a few inches past your skin. This actually represents the “reach” that your proprioception projects as a result of a combination of sensory awareness (thermoreceptors, chemoreceptors and electromagnetic receptors; as well as the impact of wind, barometric pressure and other external impact upon mechanoreceptors.)

7. Inhale again, sucking in, and exhale further out than last time. Each time that you exhale attempt to reach out further from your body. Use this “extending of the mold” to feel out into your surroundings in as tactile a manner as possible.

8. Initiate your warmup with this new state of inner/outer-enhanced awareness, and adopt specific warmup drills to release the tense areas you detected throughout your meditative diagnostic.

Mind Fitness   Leave a comment

Great River Fitness uses exercises from the mind fitness training strategies developed by Joel and Michelle Levy and other sources. “Mind fitness” means having a mind that’s fit for insight and action in daily life, work and other operational situations as they arise. Research shows that mind fitness training improves perception and awareness, memory, resistance to stress and trauma, personal health and performance, as well as self-confidence and life satisfaction. Joel and Michelle Levy have refined their strategies over decades of working with diverse groups, including the U.S. Army Special Forces. I recently came across an article by Joel and Michelle Levy that explains mind fitness and am enthusiastic about sharing it with you! You can read it HERE.