Meditation: illusive….grounded…..practical…..impossible…mind chatter….*sigh*…….
I’m sure it’s not possible to count how many times we’ve really tried to sit still and pay attention. And of course we have driven or walked somewhere just to realize that we only recall a small portion of the journey. Likely we’ve all been mentally absent while washing dishes and “woke up” to realize our mind was quite busy walking up and down aisles of the grocery store, or re-hashing a conversation that did not go so well.
Laughable? Sometimes it is.
But what is it really, that phenomenon? It’s a simple lack of awareness in that moment of life. No saying if that’s good or bad, necessary or not, but that’s what it is.
The thing is, these moments can add up, string together, foster living more in the past or future than in the present….and, all the while….we really only have Now.
Meditation, with all its various approaches, is basically you being present. Awareness. It’s non-judgmental, experiential, focused, allowing, and has no explicit right or wrong way.
Being aware of what you are doing, thinking, how you are breathing, what you are touching at times throughout your busy day may seem just as impossible as inserting into it dedicated seated meditation time, let alone actually sitting still for 15 or 20 minutes.
Yet, what’s to be lost in not at least trying? Well, you might say, “I don’t have time,” “I’ll feel silly,” “I know I can’t do it,” or maybe “People are relying on me to accomplish all the different tasks I do each day.” The overarching conclusion is really that if you live in a blur or dwell more in the past or future, you already are losing time – actual moments of living. And we all do this.
Awareness brings us back to our precious self. We have all accomplished this aspect of meditation successfully. Really.
For this moment, re-live a time when you were stunningly present. Were you reading a book intently? Savoring a favorite meal? Skiing down a pristine slope, breathing in the cold, feeling your skis settle momentarily deeper into the snow with each new turn down the mountain?
Those momentary jewels….wouldn’t you like more of them? Or how about having more of those quiet, unlooked for moments of creative insight? Or maybe you’d like to increase times of greater clarity in solving a problem or making a good decision? I sure would.
All of these are reasons I’ve welcomed meditation into my life, my life-style.
In addition to experiential ways of knowing, scientific research with meditators is illuminating some very interesting positive results. It is strongly looking like meditation helps to alleviate stress responses, lower blood pressure, physically increase brain matter in areas that correlate with self-awareness, and change brain waves to a more relaxed