Posted in Of Life's Dramedies

Of Meditation

Source: http://spiritualboosters.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/meditation-for-spiritual-and-psychological-upliftment.png
Source: http://spiritualboosters.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/meditation-for-spiritual-and-psychological-upliftment.png

On Monday, for the first time, I was able to meditate successfully. It was to this video here. I had been working out to a dance video, which got a little silly. So, I clicked this instead. I’ve never been able to meditate before, in groups or alone. By listening to something or not. I just never thought it could happen to my fairground mind. Most of all, I never thought it would be such an emotional experience. I am almost too scared to meditate again, as I don’t want that beautiful experience of being transported to somewhere else and feeling so still to go away. Yes, I would laugh and roll my eyes at gibberish like this sentence I just wrote, because people who meditate have a propensity to write these types of sentences. I can’t buck the tradition either.

In the semantic sense, we’ve all meditated from time to time. Believe it or not, the calm inducing ( or laughter, in case you’re cynical ) word meditation means the same as the dirty-cheap-politicized inspiration for my blog, opinion. They both mean: to think about something. Because meditation is frequently thought, in modern times anyway, to relax and be free of thought, we try to not think when we meditate. But, even in ancient times, to meditate was to be free of unnecessary concerns to focus on the necessary. It was contemplation, it was thinking. The Sanskrit word ( Sanskrit is the classical Indian language from which many modern languages, such as Hindi, came to be ) for meditation is dhyaan. It means to focus or give your attention to something. Thus, reading or writing can be an act of meditation. When you’re lost in thought over something while commuting on a bus or train, you’re still meditating. Quite simply, when you are single-minded about something, you are meditating.

In fact, there is a collection of writings by Marcus Aurelius called Meditations. Don’t worry, mine aren’t and will never be products of meditative thought. I’m rarely in such states, unless it comes along without my will. Like a song or an album which just pulls me into its world. Or a comedy show. Now, nobody would call Lee Mack trying to write a Christmas card with his foot a tool for meditation, but I hadn’t been as single-mindedly engaged in laughter or anything else recently, up until my successful meditation session.

While I’ve argued in favour of having a multiplicity of thought, why am I suddenly singing praises of meditation? Well, because of the experience that that video brought me. Or brought me back. It’s story of starting from a pier, to hopping on a boat, to going to your desired destination ( for me it was an island of fruit with Kate Bush’s Eat the Music playing in the background ) was synonymous to what I felt reading adventure stories as a child. No one ever told me meditation videos had that! That complete abandon, engagement and glee at being lost in a story is something I haven’t experienced since, no matter what I read. I may seem a little naive to you, but those childish literary experiences are still real to me in many ways. When I am waiting for something particularly challenging in the outside world, I sometimes tell myself, β€œIf Sam and Frodo can make it to Mordor, you can do this!”

As adults, we develop a separate mode for absorbing stories, or art and experiences in general. The analytical, along with the default experiential. I need something like Lee Mack’s silly way of writing Christmas cards, or a meditation video that takes me on a sailboat, because there are so few experiences in life that can remain only in the experiential. We’re so cluttered in our thinking, because it’s rarely that we can safely turn the analytical button off. And that is what meditation is. It’s when you, to quote The Cranberries, β€œDon’t analyse.”

Do you meditate? How do you feel about it?

Author:

Writer, Blogger, Kate Bush Fanatic

12 thoughts on “Of Meditation

  1. I do meditate…frequently. One of my favorite places is in the pool. I focus awareness inward, on the interaction of muscles working in concert along the left and right side as they glide me across the pool, the rythym of breath in and out in time with the stroke of arm and leg.
    Focusing awareness completely on what the body is doing allows a wonderful sharp moment of existence only in the now, not worrying about the past or scheming about the future.

    1. That’s a great idea! I suppose it requires some practice, patience and willingness to achieve that sense of awareness of your body. I do that when I dance but I think of it mainly as fun!
      Thanks for reading!

  2. From what you’ve described, meditation and Mindfulness appear to be nearly the same thing as it both aims to focus on one thing and not analyse. It’s funny, because I recently wrote a post about Mindfulness and my difficulty in achieving it.

    1. I, too, have difficulty achieving mindfulness. I try not to obsess too much with meditation and mindfulness even if psychologists keep recommending it. I think doing what you like – such as reading a book or writing or playing an instrument, centres your thoughts enough to relax your brain for a while. So, I try to do those things as often as possible instead of “artificially” trying to concentrate on some given thing.
      Thanks for reading!

  3. Didn’t know you were a Lee Mack fan!! I love “Would I lie to you”; the truths and the lies are equally bizarre. I like the idea of meditation being focused on one thing, whatever that might be. Also good for the rambling mind!

    1. I adored Lee Mack in the last series of WILTY! Everyone knows he is lying but he is so great in stretching out that lie beyond expectation. Like the “lie”, I mentioned in this post – everybody knows he can’t write with his feet but he goes on and on anyway. Mitchell hasn’t been doing much lately. Since he got married, I suppose he’s too happy to be angry anymore!

      I love British comedy! Some of my favourites are The Mighty Boosh, Black Books, The IT Crowd and The Thick of It. What are yours and could you recommend me some? I remember I laughed so hard throughout watching Black Books, I thought I may have torn my stomach muscles! My face hurt too, and I was in tears!

      1. I do like those ones too πŸ™‚ My absolute favourite is probably “Father Ted”. Also love “Frasier” and “Big Bang Theory”. Sounds like you enjoy surreal humour, see if you can find “Green Wing”. It’s a channel 4 series and you’ll get it on 4oD – which. is also where you’ll find Father Ted. Enjoy πŸ˜€

      2. Thank you so much for the recommendations! I really must start watching Father Ted, I’ve heard so much about it! American TV shows are so popular everywhere, its easy to get hold of them. But except for Monty Python, Blackadder and other shows by members of their cast, not much is available of British humour. Which is a shame, because it is such great comedy of embarrassment and thus, right up my alley! I will definitely look up Green Wing too. Thanks again!

  4. Yes, I meditate, but not nearly as often as I “feel” that I should be. I’ll be honest, I didn’t read your entire post because I’m almost always in a rush! (That’s definitely a red flag for me to meditate more) I have a hard time slowing down. The time that I slow down though is after work, when I can put my heart and soul into art, making things out of paper or painting – that’s my main form of meditation – like you mentioned many of us are meditating in a sense when we are doing something. Every now and then I sit for about 5-10 minutes and listen to some meditation music and relax. I’d like to get to a point though were I can sit in complete silence and “just be”. Thanks for posting, your subject definitely caught my eye and I know that’s my inner self reminding me to slow down a bit. Oh, Happy Friday!

    1. Thank you so much! Art is definitely very relaxing. The key is to find time for things that you enjoy doing and not think too much about how much “formal” meditation you are able to do.
      Thanks for reading and reblogging! Hope you have a great weekend!

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