September 1, 2015

Why I Hate the Word “Meditation.”


Erin Stoodley/Flickr

As soon as I hear the word meditation, I feel tired and think it’s all too hard.

I studied the Mahayana Buddhist meditation practice of watching the breath and it didn’t work for me. I had the attention span of a goldfish and always lost count after only two breaths.

Then I’d beat myself up for being so crap at it.

I also noticed that I resisted doing meditation because it was just another thing I had to do. It was a chore, and I hated doing chores, especially ironing. I didn’t want to feel the same way about meditation as I do about ironing.

However, somewhere along the way, I read something by Adyashanti that rung true. I understood what was really meant by meditation and it resonated deeply.

Like a cow bell.

So I don’t call it meditation anymore. I call it sitting quietly for a bit and letting go of trying. I was given permission to take my brain out and let it sit with the flowers (between the daisies and petunias).

For 15 or so minutes I would sit quietly and I could drop away and let go of all the roles I was playing. I could stop trying to be anything or trying to be anyone and I could just fall. I didn’t have to be the dutiful husband, the advertising copywriter. I didn’t have to perform in front of clients. I didn’t have to try and impress anyone. I could just let go of myself entirely. I could feel my swirling thoughts that cause all my stress melt away. Sure they didn’t leave altogether, but that’s not the point.

I found there was space between them and I could notice them much easier.

That seemed delicious. I could work with that. Piss off responsibility for a while and just rest in an awesome silence and feel the amazing presence of life. By resting in the spaciousness I am able to start to realise I am not my thoughts and then open up to something bigger.

This is what works for me:

•       Sit quietly somewhere. (I choose to sit on the floor.)
•       Take three deep breaths.
•       Feel where there’s tension in my body and imagine letting it go.
•       Count backwards from 20 to 1.
•       Rest there gently feeling the sensation and energy of the body. (Eckhart Tolle style)
•       If a though pops up, you can let it go off and drift away.
•       Bring your attention back to your body.
•       Don’t force anything or judge anything.

I try and do a mindfulness practice during the day where I just notice my thoughts and how they make me feel, but it’s not often successful. I still get caught up in the idiocy of life.

So now whenever I hear meditation being talked about, I mentally change it to sitting quietly for a bit and letting go of trying and feel a lot more comfortable about it.

I own this shit now!





5 Simple Tips to Start a Daily Meditation Practice.




Author: Josh Langley

Apprentice Editor: Lois Person / Editor: Renée Picard

Image: Erin Stoodley-Flickr 


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