Two Different Things
If you had 10 minutes today to do something just for yourself, what would you do?
I would meditate.
In fact, I find 10 minutes every day to meditate.
When people find out I meditate, I get a myriad of reactions. Shocking! I know. But stay with me.
Mostly the conversation goes like this -
Them - You meditate? Wow. How do you find the time?
Me - Yes, I do have a meditation practice! I meditate for 10 minutes every day.
Them - My life is so busy, I don’t think I could find the time. Besides, I can’t stop thinking, so I can’t meditate.
It’s 10 minutes. Once a day.
It’s not about getting your mind to stop thinking.
Just as yoga isn’t about touching your toes. Or that a walk in the woods isn’t about the trees. Watching the sunrise isn’t all about the sun. Meditation is not about stopping thinking. It’s about observing thought.
Too different things.
Lemme break it down...
Let’s use my example of walking in the woods. If you walk in the woods and you examine every tree, you’re most likely an arborist, or someone who studies trees. Whereas, if you walk in the woods and you enjoy the trees (and all the plants and animals and the fresh air) you’re most likely a lover of nature.
Two different things.
Within your head there are two energies - the mind and the inner being. Your minds job is to think. And if you’re like most people, your mind does an amazing job thinking! Your inner beings job is to guide you - think ‘gut’ feelings. During meditation, the inner being‘s ‘job’ is to be the detached observor of the minds thoughts. And, if you’re like most people, your inner being could use a bit of practice being that detached observer. Meditation provides that practice.
When you meditate, thoughts come and go - because as you are well aware, the mind does an amazing job of thinking! The inner being observes, watches, those thoughts come and go, detached and undistracted. The mind may be prolific or it may be quiet. Either way, as long as you are not getting attached to the thoughts, you’re meditating. In fact, there really isn’t a wrong way to meditate. The act of allowing the inner being to observe the minds thoughts - that is meditation.
Some days, during my daily meditation, my minds thoughts are abundant and on more than one occasion has attempted to solve complex world problems. Other days my mind is quiet and simply wants to count my breath. In each case, I was successfully meditating.
Because in both cases, my inner being was simply a detached observer of the minds thoughts.
It’s that simple. Or it’s that complex. That is what is so wonderful about it.
And it’s only a few minutes each day.