Why I meditate

I don’t meditate to be cool. I don’t meditate to become more spiritual. I meditate because there is a window of about half a second between the moment I open my eyes and the crush of thoughts which descend upon my being like a plague of wasps.

They are jumbled and quick and fleeting and overwhelming.

Wearily, I grab some water, a stick of incense and maybe some pants, put the coffee on downstairs for when Tyrhone wakes up and I go someplace to sit in stillness for as long as I can manage it.

Sometimes it’s uncomfortable, but the longer I keep dragging myself out of bed and onto the floor or into a chair to sit, by myself, for myself, the less I identify with the discomfort of my racing thoughts and the more I know that I am the pure awareness within which exists in perfect peace and unshakeable stillness.

I’ve had amazing, life altering experiences via meditation. I have been overcome with a warm wash of love and felt my brain dial down into blissful nothingness so that I become the life giving energy pumping through my strong, soft heart.

I have been filled with the awareness of my divinity and the Oneness of life on this planet. I have had ego-dissolving moments of such pure bliss and an absolute absence of fear I thought would last forever.

It didn’t.

They were amazing gifts, but the thing I have learned about my journey with meditation is that I have to keep showing up. A realization one day does not guarantee it for the next.

That one was a real bummer to learn.

The other reason I meditate is that in spite of all these consciousness raising experiences and internal transformations via a daily morning meditation practice, I am still ten types of crazy by 5pm.

I meditate because the thought of my mind state without it is scarey. No, scratch that, I meditate because I have experienced my mind state without it and it IS scarey.

I meditate because I choose not to medicate with booze or shopping or pretending anymore. I meditate because I really, really want to experience the truth and I truly, truly believe that truth is Peace and Joy.

I meditate because the longer I do, the more I am able to see through the false beliefs of society and see what a big bag of lies they tell to sell products to people who think they are lacking without them.

I meditate because I have come to see beyond my own opinions that I am not enough and have discovered that my greatness does not exist ‘out there’ but at the very core of my being, ready to be accessed any time I choose.

I meditate to take responsibility for the years I escaped myself via alcohol, drugs and people-pleasing; to make amends to my soul which I neglected and ignored for so long.

I meditate because I have realised that healing and happiness require a lot of work from me, to unlearn destructive thought processes and ingrained emotional patterns.

I meditate because it is the only practice which has ever filled me with the knowledge that I am not the tape which plays on automatic shuffle in my head, but the shimmering, eternal awareness within.

It’s taught me that I can choose to either listen to the tape on repeat or shift my focus to the miracle of my very existence via the breath which flows through me; a place from which I am grounded, transcendent, energetic and peaceful all at once.

I don’t meditate because I want to, because quite often I don’t. I meditate because I need to.

Ram Dass

THE HOW

Meditation is one of those ‘things’ people talk about but don’t really tell you how to do. The reason for this, I think, is that there are so many different techniques. You can watch your breath, chant or use mantra, mentally scan the body, or even meditate while walking.

Sometimes I dance around wildly to expel energy from my body and disconnect from the thoughts in my head.

Is this meditation? Well, for me, yes. It’s also a hell of a lot of fun.

I think the hardest part of meditation is actually showing up. Many of us have not been brought up with rituals or practices like these (myself included) so it can feel weird and difficult to do.

Starting small with a mere five minutes per day for five days can be life changing. It is a short enough time to not be too daunting and ‘five for five’ is an attainable goal.

I’m including some links here to a wide range of techniques and talks about meditation. Basically, I think we are all trying to get to the same place of peace and contentment and meditation is not the only way, but it is a tool which has made a big difference in my life.

As always, take what you like and leave the rest!

Love xxx

A Beginners Guide To Meditation by Gabby Bernstein

Deepak Chopra and Oprah’s 21 Day Meditation Challenge

Getting Started With Meditation by Osho

Guided Meditations from The Chopra Center

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Comments

Why I meditate — 11 Comments

  1. I too meditate because I need to. I struggle a lot though… why do we resist what is so good for us?
    I also wrote about meditation too this week. Isn’t amazing how in synch we are?
    Love and light,
    Amyris.
    Amyris recently posted..Busting caffeine addictionMy Profile

    • I think because it is not taught to us as children (for many of us at least) it is such a foreign concept for us as adults. We get taught to read, write, earn a living, buy stuff, eat and be busy, not be still and watch out thoughts. But I think it can become a habit. I think five minutes every day is better than an hour every now and again, because the more you do it, the more you want it. I am more surprised (and relieved) than anyone that it has become routine in my life. It is my life line! xxx

  2. For me, meditation is essential because without it I also would go crazy! Meditation gives me the chance to quieten all those thoughts that spring up all the time that tell me 25,000 different things all day long. In that silence that comes in the absence of those thoughts, I get a true perspective on my situation and what is really going on with my life. And I realise life is not half as shit as I think it is the rest of the time.

    I also think meditation is amazing because you don’t have to follow any particular spiritual path to access it. You can be from any faith or creed in the world – including a complete lack of any faith or creed – and sit down quietly and connect with yourself and with the divine (or whatever you perceive is divine!) I think sometimes people are hesitant about looking into meditation because they think they are supposed to have learnt a whole lot of doctrine to really understand what it is or how to do it. But meditation has no doctrine. It just is. :)
    Karyn @ Not Done Travelling recently posted..Be In Alignment With Your True SelfMy Profile

    • Yes!!! It is the practice which most feels like the pathway to truth for me. And I LOVE that it requires no belief, ideology or dogma. “The hand which points to the moon is not the moon.” I want the moon, baby! Regular meditation gets me as close as I’ve ever been xxx

  3. Yes, yes, yes! I meditate because I need to, it’s really as simple as that. I credit it as the thing that has been the most important on my journey back to myself, it’s my compass, my map, my everything. I’m not even a great meditator, and I’m always striving to be better at it, which is kind of the antithesis of meditation anyway, but it gives me hope that I can be at one with myself and in that oneness, find true peace.
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..The Agony in the Ecstasy of Sri Lanka’s East CoastMy Profile

    • Hey Steph, yes I think you have been practicing much longer than me, so I thought of you when I was writing this. Showing up and doing it IS being a good meditator, I truly believe that. All we need do is show up with the intention of witnessing, and we are there, no matter how crazy our mind is. I have recently learned that’s it’s not just about quietening the mind (although that is a nice bonus) but merely realizing that we are not our thoughts or feelings but the presence who is aware of them x

  4. Sarah I don’t meditate in the traditional sense but I run.Can running be counted as meditation? Usually early in the morning when it’s quite outside and still quiet in my head and sometimes later in the day when it’s crazy in my head. Running or walking brings me peace when I am frustrated or overwhelmed and inspires thoughts of truth always. This is how I find perspective and peace and I also believe I need to do it to stay healthy mentally as well as physically.
    Tracey recently posted..Missing ColombiaMy Profile

    • Hey Tracey, I think that’s a form of meditation for sure! I am not much of a runner myself (I trained and ran 14KM a few years ago, which was a huge challenge for me!) but can definitely see how it calms the mind via movement rather than stillness. Osho advocates movement as a pathway to inner awareness and as a dancer and yogi I understand how therapeutic movement is. I recently went for a jog on the beach… Three days later I am still SO SORE! Will try to go again tomorrow…

  5. 10 days ago I started Depaka Chopra’s 21 Day Meditation challenge and the difference I have felt – even in the first few days – was amazing. By nature I am a very busy headed person – a billion thoughts buzzing around upstairs any time of day or night. It is almost wondrous to indulge your mind in a few minutes (even seconds!) of peace and quiet. Just 10 days in, I feel so much happier and lighter than I have in months. Um, AMAZING! Meditation, where have you been all my life!

    Great to hear it is helping you too :) it’s nice to give these busy minds of ours a rest.
    Elesha recently posted..Central America – My Backpacking BudgetMy Profile

    • Hi Elesha! I have been a doing some of them too! I really enjoy the sound of Deepak’s voice… so calming!! I agree,the difference meditation has made in my life is phenomenal. I wonder why it took me so long to try it! Good on you :-)

  6. I don’t do very much traditional meditation, but I have started dabbling in it a bit and have found it doesn’t take long before you notice a difference. I should probably keep doing it. Have you heard about David Lynch’s foundation for meditation? http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org/

    I have thought about writing about running as a kind of moving meditation. If I go without music, I find that I eventually reach a state of meditation and I often feel more energized after a run than before I left. It is incredibly powerful.
    Carmel recently posted..THE SWEET, SIMPLE THINGSMy Profile