Listen below to hear me talk about a meditative versus an analytical state of mind and what I get from meditation, anyway. For those of you more into reading than watching, the written version (slightly different) of this content is at the bottom of the post.
Thank you to my Aunt Tonya for asking me to talk about meditation. More specific meditation guidance to come!
Meditation: It’s Not That Weird (Written Version)
I don’t think much. I call what I do thinking, but it’s not so much putting strings of words together in my head to figure out a solution, rather, it’s sitting around not thinking until something comes to me.
If you were to ask me a question, I would sit there for a bit, totally empty in the head, until the words started coming out of my mouth. I can’t act worth a damn; if I try to plan out what I’m going to say, it comes out all wrong.
I’ve always been curious about the way other people exist in their heads, when there mouth isn’t moving and they aren’t distracted by brainless activity (watching cartoons, maybe? Nothing wrong with watching cartoons, I do it a lot. It’s useful because of the fact that it is mindless. It’s a break. We need breaks).
I’ve asked this question and realized that some people have more words in their mind than I do. Some people seem to be more natural meditators and others more natural analyzers. What category would you put yourself in?
All this to say, the fact that I don’t think in words basically means that I exist in a meditative state of mind. I’m just sort of empty in the head, oftentimes, but this is the key! This is the only way I know how to be creative.
The best insight, things that come out of me that sound wise or interesting or food for thought, come more from a space of silence in my mind than the tick tick ticking of analysis and logic.
Don’t get me wrong, lord knows I have to use the tick ticking all the time (writing and planning my blogs, for example), but the material I write and talk about – that comes from the meditation.
Even though I spend a lot of my time just meditating by default, I still set aside dedicated time to meditate daily.
Well, because my default-state meditation is inconsistent. It might be interrupted by a passing analysis, a new distraction, a sudden realization I’ve got something pressing to do. And because I’ve not yet mastered being “in the moment” 100% of the time, I succumb to my reactions and fall out of the meditative state.
Setting aside time to meditate, whether through my yoga practice and movement or by just sitting still for a while, helps me dig deeper into myself and truly make space for the creativity, the wisdom, the answers, to bubble up from within me and come into consciousness.
Or, who knows, these answers may come raining down from above. Whatever image resonates with you works, as your meditation answers might feel like they come from a different place than mine.
The only thing I know to be true is that your meditation answers will come, if you decide to meditate.
So, getting to the point: What is meditation?
Meditation is simply calming the fluctuations of the mind.
There is no way you are going to force your thoughts to stop coming. You just sort of learn to ignore them until they quiet up for a time. It’s inevitable, as soon as I sit to meditate there are a thousand words in my head. It’s only with patience and practice I’m able to break through the word barrier and find the space I want to sit within (with no words in the mind) to allow the good stuff to bubble up.
Sometimes I sit to practice and I never get to the empty space. Sometimes I get there after only a few breaths. What I can say is that it gets easier with practice, as I’ve developed touchstones and tools that elicit the mind to calm more quickly.
So, stay tuned. I’ll continue the meditation conversation and introduce you to a couple types of meditation – mindfulness and concentration – to give those of you interested a kick start to your practice.
Really, you’re doing meditation right if you’re trying.
You’re doing it well if you keep trying.
Once you make it a habit, you won’t need me to tell you anything.
I would LOVE to hear your reflections on your thinking/mental state of being. Do you feel more empty or full of words? Does it change during different circumstances? When are you most empty and when are you most wordy? Use the comments, I’ll reply!