To those who think meditation is some wacky pseudo-scientific practice outside of consciousness or a state that must be obtained to transcend the rigors of every day, you’re right. Well…..kind of.
Wacky– hardly. Pseudo-scientific–not really. A practice– yes. Outside of consciousness the opposite actually. A state– quite possibly. Obtained– not so much. To transcend– yes.
But the every day doesn’t disappear.
Meditation is about making the moment you are in right now, more apparent, clearer, and giving it a voice. If the word “meditation” is attached to images of Buddha or someone sitting on a little pillow with their palms up and resting on their knees, and a little thought bubble with “OM” in it, I’m laughing right now. Realize that while this can be a way to cultivate this moment-to-moment presence, you COULD sit on a little pillow, but it’s not necessary.
Athletes and competitors, writers, musicians, artists, anyone for that matter can speak of moments of being “in the zone.” This is a beautiful example of meditation in its finest, purest form. “In The Zone”. Think about what that means and how it has felt for you.
It’s effortless, isn’t it?
It is almost as if time stood still.
In your doing, you were non-doing.
You were not passive or lazy; you were fully present.
So much so that you were letting things unfold as they may.
You could be washing your car or doing the laundry and experience this sense of peacefulness and clarity.
This is execution untethered by effort, work, toil, or thinking. It is appreciating the moment for its perfectness, as it is, without attaching to it our opinions, needs, beliefs, values, or wants.
Meditation is not a practice in that you rehearse it over and over with the goal of “getting somewhere” or improving something. You practice to be still and mindful, appreciative, contemplative, and sensible. You practice to “tune in” to what is right now rather than searching frantically or scrambling to grasping for something in the future or the past.
I’ve recognized lately how often our bodies and minds are working to get us to this place. Ironically, if I weren’t practicing this, I’d not notice! But think back to all the times you’ve said the following:
“What the heck am I doing?!”
“I’ve got to clear my head!”
“I need to breathe!”
“Something’s gotta give!”
Or felt the following: anxious, worried, frenzied, overwhelmed.
I hope you’re recognizing now how we create our own suffering. When we push against what is right in front of us, when we cast onto the present what we believe it ‘should’ look like, and when we are impatiently demanding an unfolding of something that is not in our control, we are not peaceful. Under the worst circumstances in our lives we can still be peaceful when we are present and non-judging. This is what being “In the Zone” is all about– patiently watching, observing the seasons changing, and acknowledging that nothing is permanent.
Call it meditation, call it mindfulness, call it paying attention, or call it awareness. Being ‘In the Zone’ is just that– being.
I challenge you to ‘be.’ Keep doing work. Continue pushing toward your goals. Recognize that you have responsibilities that absolutely have to be met and meet them.
But along the way work wonderfully, push patiently, and meet mindfully.