Meditation: Am I Doing It Right?

Image Credit: Omid Armin on Unsplash


Meditation isn't about pillow-sitting, OM-chanting, or incense-huffing; it's about helping us observe and dis-identify from the chattering of our minds, so any action that helps us do that counts.

Meditation, meditation, meditation.

It's something that a lot of people are doing, or talking about.

Because of the buzz around it, questions like "am I doing it right?" might come up.

I've asked myself that question because I don't meditate. That is to say, I don't sit on a pillow with my legs crossed, candles and incense burning, observing my thoughts.

Is that the only right way to meditate though?

I'm going to say that it isn't and I'm going to use the argument of end result to prove it.

Some things in life are about the process; life is about process because the point of life isn't the finish line (a.k.a. death) it's about the process of living and everything we get to experience along the way.

But there are some things where we can only judge the process through the evidence of the end result; the proof is in the pudding, as they say.

What does that mean with regards to meditation?

If - as I understand it - the 'goal' of mediation is to feel more calm and centred, with the ability to observe our thoughts without identifying with them, and to develop the ability to be fully present to the moment, then anything that helps us do that counts as meditation.

I 'mediate' when I go for long walks by myself. I usually walk in silence; not listening to music or podcasts. Just the sound of nothing. I live near a greenbelt, and walk among trees and nature. All is still, except for the occasional barking dog or sound of a crying baby as a mother walks by with a stroller. I feel profound peace in those moments, and I am most definitely observing my thoughts as they float on by.

I 'mediate' sometimes when I cook or bake. Sometimes I listen to an audio book when I'm in the kitchen, but at other times, I simply, chop, mix, and stir in total silence. My mind goes blank as I simply focus on doing the task at hand; peeling a potato, chopping a carrot, washing lettuce, whipping butter and sugar together. I am totally present to the task at hand.

I 'mediate' sometimes at the gym, where the only focus is correct repetitive movement.

When I used to work as a diver, being underwater with only the sound of my own breath in and out of the regulator was meditative.

Meditation isn't about pillow-sitting, OM-chanting, or incense-huffing; it's about helping us observe the chattering of our minds so that we become conscious of that chatter in a way that we can see it without identifying with it. It's about helping us be more present in the here and now.

Determining if we're doing something 'right' can only be judged based on the desired end result, and not the specific way that a thing is done, because often there's more than one way to do something. Yes, there are certain things in life where the process is the point; but when it comes to mediation, knowing if we're doing it right can only be judged based on the outcome.

If we're feeling more peaceful, calm and centred, then it's working, regardless of the activity that brings us there.

You don't need to sit on pillow in a dimly lit room in order to meditate, is what I'm saying. Unless you want to of course.

Image Credit: Hans Vivek on Unsplash


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