I used to write in my journal when I had a problem that I needed to pick apart… now I write in it every day. I find it soothing just writing with no aim. Very occasionally I write wonderful things but mostly my journal is full of my random musings and thoughts. I realise now that this is my meditation. When I write, I meditate.
Ask most people what meditation is and they will say it is sitting cross legged on the floor, hands in a mudra (Chin Mudra is the most famous), chanting, with a serene look on one’s face. Why do people think this? Let me illustrate with an exercise:
_Open Google and type in ‘Meditation’. Click on the ‘Images’ tab and tell me what you see….
I rest my case.
How reductionist is this view? I don’t know about you but in order to sit still, properly sit still without fidgeting, without the temptation of opening my eyes or readjusting my legs, I need to do at least an hour’s worth of working out and stretching. I also have short hamstrings so the temptation to slump is high… and if I sit cross legged without warming up, my legs go numb after 5 minutes… and then all I’m thinking about is how tingly my legs are…
But how about this as a different view – Acceptance. Accept that fidgeting is ok. Accept that if your eyes flutter open because you heard a noise that’s ok. Accept that your meditation might be with your eyes open, accept that it might be while you’re doing something repetitive… like ironing, or cutting up vegetables, or chopping wood, or crocheting… knitting, running, sitting in the garden with a cup of tea and just thinking… journalling… can we not call these things meditation if they work for you? Isn’t Yoga described as Moving Meditation?
It takes great strength to sit still for 10 mins on your own surrounded by your own thoughts… like little clouds floating in front of your mind’s sky…
How do you meditate?