Recently, I have meditated and been curious about how to do it. Is there a right way? Which way is for me? Am I more Zen, Yoga, TM, Visual? Do I need training? As these questions suggest, I have never been a huge meditator myself, but the act of managing my thoughts and finding a bit of stillness in my brain does sound quite appealing. The issue I have had is it all seems rather clean. White designs, soothing voices, perfectly tidy rooms. I would love this but do I need this to meditate? It is a bit scary.
For me, meditation is conscious practice of “finding stillness in the busyness”. In some cases, the aim may be to clear the mind and think about (nearly) nothing. It may also be that you meditate to focus on a certain topic of query and ponder it for a while. I’ll meditate in a more traditional sense a couple of times a week (more if I am in the swing of things), which takes the form of kneeling or sitting and closing my eyes.
I focus on my breath.
Scan my body.
Visualise an image, usually a memory.
I find a state of tranquillity (hopefully).
Emphasis on the hopefully – as I said, I am pretty beginner in this.
I believe this state of tranquility, this stillness-in-busyness and dare I say this meditation can also be found with a coffee in my hand. I meditate walking in a woods whilst rain is pouring around me. I meditate when sat in a club, looking out onto the dance floor, observing, managing thoughts. I meditate with a glass of wine, seeking various stars in the sky.
I sometimes get distracted half way, so I get up and stop. I sometimes have an itch and sometimes I scratch it. It is by no means a perfect practice and I am sure discipline would do me a world of good in some cases.
But this is what I believe can be threatening as a beginner. We strive for perfect and anything less than that is not successful. Perfection in this sense would be 20 minutes eyes closed, 100% management of distraction and a lifestyle that support this state of bliss. Whereas, I often end up humming the latest Blackpink song I added to my playlist. Practice is not perfect. Strive for discipline but know that success can even be found in the act of sitting down for 4 breaths.
This is to recount my own experience which is all I can speak of, due to the introspective nature of the act and the lack of close peers I have who want to talk about meditating. I would be interested to hear your own experiences with meditating, as a human and not a robot. The irony of it all is that meditation can be a great way to lower the mask, but the branding and aesthetic attached to it seems to build a mask of its own on us.
I imagine over this year, more and more of the thoughts I share on here will be relating to our relationship with our own stillness, whether that be physically or mentally. I think it is a really good thing to strive for. A bit more clarity. Not a nirvana.