What do you think about when you hear the phrase ‘Meditation’?
I used to instantly think Buddha statues, candles, prayer, silence, yoga, incense and maybe a sprinkling of woo woo magic and the only people that actually meditated were extremely spiritual and had a lot of time on their hands!
That was the perception I was left with after watching certain films, seeing posts on social media, reading articles and books concerning the magical experience I now know to be meditation.
Let me give you some background, if you took one glance at me, I would be the least likely person you would pick out of a lineup, if asked to choose ‘who out of these people meditates daily’ or even, ‘teaches meditation’. Taking one look at me in my torn jeans, t-shirt and both arms filled with Tattoos I just don’t fit the ‘stereotypical’ person you would conjure up.
Most days I look more like I rock heavy metal than I rock meditation. But believe it or not, I meditate every single day. What I have discovered about meditation really surprised me, my perception was so wrong.
You don’t have to be sitting in silence in a lotus position to meditate. I meditate pretty much anytime and anywhere I feel like it.
Maybe I’m a meditation freestyler?
I do sit in silence to meditate but I also meditate with food and drink, whilst walking, while waiting in queues, in the shower, in dance. Most importantly I meditate to prevent procrastination in my daily life and to ensure maximum output and minimal time requirements for every task at hand.
What is meditation and why do I hold it so highly in my self-development toolbox?
“Meditation refers to a family of techniques which have in common a conscious attempt to focus attention in a non-analytical way and an attempt not to dwell on discursive, ruminating thought” (Shapiro, 1982)
Let that one land with you, it is a conscious attempt to focus our attention in a non-analytical way. Imagine if you could really control and focus your attention whenever you wanted to, so you lived more in the moment and were more focussed and mindful?
Try it! Start with something really simple. Grab yourself a glass of your favourite beverage, pop, flavoured water, wine, cider whatever it maybe.
Now you are going to ‘Drink’ meditate – sounds crazy right?
Firstly, drink half of the beverage as you normally would, I’m guessing with little thought or consideration, you just raise the glass to your mouth take a sip or slurp and swallow it right? Be careful not to be so unaware of your actions that you drink the whole beverage!
Now, the second half of the beverage, you are going to drink with focussed attention on the actual physical motion of taking a drink and feeling the glass touch your lips, and the liquid entering your mouth and you consciously wanting to swallow and then feeling the beverage running down your throat. When you do this really focus and notice your arm and hand wanting to raise the glass to your mouth. Do you lick your lips in anticipation of the glass and drink meeting your mouth? What is your tongue doing? When do you first become aware that you can taste the beverage and your throat is preparing to swallow it?
All of these things we would normally just do on ‘auto-pilot’ and before we know it the drink has been consumed and we can’t really recall any particular enjoyment or awareness of it. Simple meditation practices and focus such as this will really deliver you some enlightened experiences, and anyone can do it!
Meditation really does create miracle mornings for me every single day!
My morning coffee never tasted so good, my morning showers have never felt so invigorating, give it a go. Become a meditation freestyler I guarantee, you will appreciate everything so much more and you’ll never look back!