Did you get your pillows out into the middle of the floor, put on your meditation CD and yoga pants, and light the candle? If you did, it sounds like a wonderful start to your meditation. If you are like me, you would have thought about the process and shook your head thinking, “I have 45 other things I need to do!” Honestly, I give up before I ever get started because traditional meditation does not bring me joy.
Meditation is not neatly packaged in a one-size-fits-all definition, not even Buddha expected his people to meditate in the same way. Many meditation instructors will tell you that the goal is to transcend the mind and release yourself from thought – creating a clear mind. I avoided mediation for years because that is something that I just cannot grasp. An empty head is not something I can attain let alone strive for.
Here is what finally got me to embrace my own form of meditation - The goal of meditation is not an empty mind, it is a transformed mind. Meditation is the releasing of circular thoughts and unwinding of your mental tension. Now that I can do it and already do every time I work on changing whatever spiritual habit is trying to drive (or crash) my bus.
You meditate more often than you realize. Anytime you are working with your hands and without additional input such as TV or Music, you are meditating. When you are bathing or showering you are having a meditative moment. The reason so many eureka moments happen while you are on the toilet is that is a moment where you are alone with your thoughts and you can let them wander and unwind.
Many of us live very dynamic lives that created a spiritual habit of busyness. Between family, work, hobbies, volunteering, friends, church, etc., there are so few moments where we do not add anything to our brains. The input in this 21st century is constant and it’s so easy to get greedy with information; always adding to the pile and never releasing what is unnecessary.
I am a practitioner of moving meditation where I will allow a mental white space while I perform a repetitive or mundane task. Pouring candles, crocheting, coloring, folding laundry, doing dishes, and standing in line at the grocery store. This is where my mind unwinds and I can start to see the collection of spiritual habits that limit me or heal me at that moment. I am also a practitioner of finding a quiet moment wherever I am to let my brain unwind. Those are some of my most profound moments of meditation. No timer, no pillows, no CDs, just me in a moment.
Go ahead and find your meditation wherever you can… you are worth it.