Taking It Slow

I’m probably jumping the gun a bit on this one but whatevs… it’s my blog, I can tell my story in any order I like.

For most of the past year I’ve been listening to Tim Ferriss’ podcast. Tim’s got a huge backlog, so just now I finished up an interview he did with Dr. Dom D’Agostino, who is among other things an expert on the effects of the ketogenic diet.

What follows is the text of a comment I left on Tim’s blog entry for the episode:

This episode has helped me make an interesting connection.

My diet is largely ketogenic. Sounds a lot like how Dom described his own in this episode, but the bottom line is that I am in mild ketosis probably 3-4 days out of 7. I cross the line so often I hardly notice it any more.

I also meditate daily. Started with HeadSpace, maxed out the 20-min sessions, and then got tired of listening to Andy blabber and switched to a timer (the Insight Timer app for iOS is awesome btw). NOTE: Sorry not sorry for the iOS App Store links. If they don’t apply to you, get a real phone.

In an effort to keep my head clear during meditation, I count: slow counts to 8 or 10 or 12 on the inhale, again on the exhale. And I found very quickly that I could slow my breathing simply by slowing or extending the count. Slower is better… there comes a point where maintaining the cadence is the only thing I can focus on, which puts me where I want to be.

So there came a day when I hit a new level… I just checked out, and when the bell rang 20 min later, it felt like almost no time at all had passed. Great sit. But what really astonished me was what happened to my breathing rate… took a couple days to figure out how to time it, but when I’m down there I’m averaging about one breath cycle per MINUTE.

That’s insane… it’s like twice the period generally characterized as “deep meditation” on the inner tubes. And no gasping, dizziness, nothing. Just sitting and breathing.

So I’ve been pretty impressed with myself. Figured I was half a step from achieving enlightenment and living the rest of my life rent-free in my own navel. But now I’m guessing my meditation experience may be significantly fueled by my ketogenic diet and its effects on O2 absorption.

Which is also cool, even if I’m not the Buddha after all. 🙂

So that’s the story. Wish I had a baseline for comparison of my breath hold time, but I don’t. Although my sense is that I can hold my breath WAY longer than I could a couple years ago, pre-ketosis.

Tell me why I'm full of shit!