Don’t be fooled into thinking that the only way to meditate is to sit with your legs crossed in a quiet space with only your breath to focus on in order to transcend thought. In fact, for most of us sitting in an awkward, uncomfortable position for 15 minutes, desperately trying to be present, is a sure way to whip up a jabbering, complaining mind!!
Contrary to popular belief, meditation is not about breaking through some elusive, cosmic mystery to a transcendent reality beyond our everyday world or to reach a spiritual enlightenment, and you certainly don’t have to do it for hours in a cave in the Himalayas. Meditation is so much simpler and accessible than that. Think about a time when you were so fully immersed in a challenging but doable activity you barely noticed what was going on around you let alone the babbling, drivel in your mind; you were completely focussed, present and content with no concern over the final outcome. This could be anything from gardening, cooking, rock climbing, yoga, to knitting, reading or doing a sudoku puzzle. Your mind would have been in a “state of flow”, a term was coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book “Flow”. ( brilliant book btw)
For me, grabbing a coffee and sitting down with my codeword puzzle draws me instantly into a state of flow and this is what mediation is all about – being completely present. I love words and language and when I’m immersed in this activity, no nagging mental narrative can lure me away.
I would love to hear what activity evokes within you a state of flow, no matter how nerdy. Cultivating this state of mind will increase your well-being, creativity and productivity so don’t just write it off as something frivolous; it is so much more. This is what meditation really is.