Why I don’t advise Meditation?
Meditation is a popular activity to obtain several mental and physical benefits. It is universally popular and several of my students practice it regularly. I neither meditate, nor advocate it to any of my students. The reasons for not promoting this very beneficial art are explained in this blog: Why I don’t advise Meditation?
Conventional Definition of Meditation
Meditation is a mental exercise where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content. With practice our ability to meditate improves. Most people understand two broad classifications of meditation:
A concentrative meditation technique involves focusing on a single point. This could entail watching the breath, repeating a single word, staring at a candle flame, listening to a repetitive gong or counting beads on a rosary. In this form of meditation, you simply refocus your awareness on the chosen object of attention each time you notice your mind wandering. Rather than pursuing random thoughts, you simply let them go. Through this process, your ability to concentrate improves.
Mindfulness meditation technique encourages the practitioner to observe wandering thoughts as they drift through the mind. The intention is not to get involved with the thoughts or to judge them, but simply to be aware of each mental note as it arises. Through mindfulness meditation, you can see how your thoughts and feelings tend to move in particular patterns. With practice, an inner balance develops.
Meditation as I Understand
By total concentration on whatever you are doing you practice meditation. Examples:
- When you do a long distance run you can focus on your breath, or steps, or any rhythm of your body. Who mandated that the focus should be a candle light, or rosary beads only? I am convinced that it could be anything. Focusing the mind is important and not the object.
- When you focus on what you are reading by total concentration you do not remember your surroundings and become oblivious to any other thought other than what you are reading. This is meditation.
- When you travel, or are in a public place with nothing to do you can observe people and nature and stop planning or personal thoughts and get absorbed in whatever you observe and get immersed in that. This is also meditation.
Life Offers Great Opportunities to Meditate Daily
By my understanding of meditation life offers daily opportunities to meditate, refresh our minds and reap all the benefits of meditation it makes no sense to take out even 15min exclusively to sit down to focus your mind on something or allow you mind to go blank. This exercise can be accomplished anywhere. For me the ball is the candle light to focus upon when playing and breathing when I run. Hence I never advise anyone to devote exclusive time to meditate.