Meditation just means awareness. So, whatever you do with awareness is meditation.
However, we usually use the word to describe time set aside for non-doing to develop the skill of ‘paying attention’.
What is Meditation?
This paying attention to our inner and outer world with acceptance, patience and compassion, often called ‘coming home to self’ cultivates a progressive quietening of the mind.
The wandering and distractibility of mind that is most peoples’ default position produces stress, fear, anxiety and worry. Meditation practice encourages the development of concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a calm seeing of the true nature of present moment reality.
“If there is no meditation then you are like a blind man in a world of great beauty, light and colour.” Krishnamurti
What is Meditation? develops awareness and clear seeing
You learn the patterns and habits of your mind, and cultivate new, more positive ways of being. The purpose of meditation is to develop and cultivate openhearted spacious awareness as well as a correct understanding of reality.
What is Meditation – Just Being Here – Aware
Jon Kabat Zinn prefers a broader description of meditation as …Living Your Life As If It Really Matters… That means being here for it, with Awareness and with a certain degree of self kindness towards oneself and with an understanding of the deep inter-connectedness of all life and of all beings.
Understanding doesn’t come from the intellect but, it comes from directly connecting with the totality of your being. Generally we waste our lives, distracted from our true selves, in endless activity.
Meditation is the way to bring us back to ourselves, where we can really experience and taste our full being.” S Rinpoche
What is Meditation? Starts with the body
Hence, the 1st foundation of Mindfulness is the body. We learn to tune in, and see how responsive and dynamic our body is in relationship to other people. Also, how responsive it is to the various changing circumstances in our lives. And, how responsive it is to our state of mind …
Then, we can learn to live with more clarity, wisdom, kindness and wellbeing.
Read: Misconceptions about meditation and some guidelines for practice
“To meditate means to go home to yourself. Then you know how to take care of the things that are happening inside you, and you know how to take care of the things that happen around you.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
Jon Kabat Zinn – What is Meditation and vast benefits
What is meditation? Awarnessing…
Its the awarenessing that’s important, just the befriending of the mind and the heart as they are, the cultivation of knowing that’s bigger than thinking. Settling into and being comfortable in silence and stillness that is so fundamental to our experience as human beings and also so foreign because we ignore it so much. Meditation is moment by moment knowing what’s on your mind, moment by moment knowing and feeling what’s in your heart right here right now.
What is Meditation really about?
The actual literal meaning of Meditation in Sanskrit is ‘to cultivate’, to become familiar with a new way of Being, with new qualities, with a perception of the world which is more attuned with reality. Not seeing the world as solid permanent objects but as a dynamic flux of interdependent ceaselessly changing conditions, even our consciousness is a dynamic stream that is constantly changing.
What is Meditation – Developing awareness
Meditation is really about cultivating present moment awareness. So, we practice being still to cultivate inner calm in the beginning, mindful breathing to let the thoughts subside a little bit and then not being caught in that constant steam and then from that state we can refine qualities like compassion even further. Awarenessing or meditation (in its widest sense) is something that needs to be practiced otherwise, the mind will continue to run all over the place.
Tips to make your life a living meditation
Meditation is not a doing but a ‘falling awake’. So, like ‘falling asleep’, we have to set the scene to induce this clarity of being. For many, participating in a Mindfulness Course gets them on track. For others,
- Taking a walk in nature
- Allowing time regularly for silence and spaciousness
- Sitting on the porch and looking at the sky
may be helpful to cultivate mindfulness. Whatever, easily reminds you to stop running, come home to yourself, live from your heart attuned to your own wisdom. Then like changing the channel on the TV, switch your attention from ‘thinking’ to sensing – really looking, listening, feeling, smelling, tasting. Whenever you notice that your mind has wandered back to thinking (which it will do), gently switch back to sensing. A good way to understand what meditation is, is to try a: guided mindfulness meditation, for yourself or read some more: What is living consciously like?
For more information
Please don’t hesitate to contact Joanne if you have any query?