I know, I know. You’re very busy. Or you have too many thoughts.
There’s an increasing and popular trend of advice out there that posits if you just take a few moments out of your day for “meditation” that you’re making progress.
While it’s true that you can leverage any moment in your day for stillness, and pull a practice into your life where you pay attention to even the mundane as you experience it, this does not replace the power or impact of sitting meditation.
Sitting meditation is about strengthening your mind. Meditation is gym for your mind. And practicing it is the lifting of weights toward discovering and being your authentic self vs. being dragged by the hair by your endless discursive thoughts.
It is NOT about chilling out.
It is NOT about relaxing.
It is NOT about just taking a moment.
Authentic meditation is about finding your core.
Meditation is a workout, not taking a nap.
It’s about experiencing the truth of the “who” you are from deep within – when all the noise falls away.
For most people, most of the time, this requires EFFORT.
And it requires being alone – even being alone in a group all doing the same thing: strengthening their minds toward discovering who they are.
Once the foundational practice becomes strong, then YES it is possible to stand up and take meditation with you into your day. This is meditation in action. But don’t expect that to happen right away. We must become experts at the foundational practice first.
It’s not about you just taking a few breaths. It’s about you actively engaging — or, disengaging, more accurately. It requires that you focus enough that you let go of the constant stream of chatter and distraction that is otherwise occupying your very existence.
This cannot be done casually.
Yes there is benefit to paying attention and watching your breath and using intent to calm yourself down and find your center.
But unless you have been practicing a technique that helps you to recognize what that “center” even looks like, it’s gonna be tough for you to find it when you’re out and about and busy and distracted in everyday life.
There is total value in chilling out, relaxing, and taking a moment as you go through your day. I’m not saying that’s useless or should not be practiced.
But there is literally no substitute for an actual session of meditation. It doesn’t need to be hours long but it needs to be robust enough to make an impact.
Finding time to sit yourself down on your meditation spot and really truly MEDITATING every day is what’s required if you’re serious about making real, positive change in your life.