The meditation deception

Follow me for a minute on this short thought on the concept of the art of meditation.

When you hear the word meditation, what’s the first thought that comes to mind?

Probably someone sitting cross legged, eyes closed and focused on their breath right? I mean, this is what modern marketing has told us the correct way to meditate is.

Now I bet you don’t imagine someone hitting a boxing bag, cleaning the house, tending to their garden or even walking through the forest as meditative practices – but guess what? they all are.

You see, we’ve been fed this narrative that you can only be meditating or mindful and tending to our thoughts if we are struggling to sit cross legged, eyes closed and focusing on our breath with the same intent as we would be watching the next season of stranger things.

But not all meditation is created the same… and nor should it be.

We all spend our time focusing on if we are meditating right, that we never take time to consider if we are using the right method to bring calm to our own mind. It’s not all about finding a silent mountaintop to engage with your mind, I mean, who has a local peaceful mountain nearby?

So, I have a controversial statement to share with you…

Meditating is not confined to looking like this:

It can also look like this:

You can find the same peace, clarity and stillness of mind in these activities. That includes hugging trees!

Let me share an example from my own world.

I often find my moments of peace, calm and clarity when hitting the heavy bag or shadowboxing in my room. These practices follow the same method of being centred and focusing on my breathe, just in a different way.

I can spend an hour sometimes popping through different combinations, just flowing with my breath, the movement of my body and working through my thoughts.

I’m not saying this is for everyone. I’m sure plenty of people enjoy what is the traditional method of meditation, yet know that you can meditate in a variety of ways. Taking a long walk through a forest can elicit the same feeling of being in the moment. We can find flow through that walk, whilst breathing in fresh air.

For me, this practice brings the exact same output and benefits of sitting cross legged with my eyes shut and wondering if I’m breathing right.

So the takeaway here? There is not only one way to meditate. Maybe the traditional approach works for you and maybe it doesn’t. Find what works for you. The thing that lets you find calm, peace, process thoughts and just flow.

As the great Bruce Lee once said: “Absorb what is useful, discard what is not and add what is uniquely your own”

Take this approach with your own practice.


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