In our daily lives we are always asked to be in the moment. Present. Ready. Aware. And through that focus we tend to find a pattern of feeling that we can easily slip into. Filing paperwork becomes a dance. Writing out emails becomes second nature. And even making phone calls can go smoothly without any extra thought. But are those tasks helping us become better meditators?
There really is no simple answer to that. When we as humans fall into a trance like state and achieve calmness, it can occur at wildly different times. For most, a calm room with little to no interruptions is the main place where they can relax. However, this is not always the norm. In my youth, the times I would feel most peaceful would be in the throws of a concert right in front of the pumping sound system. The vibration of the music would feel like it was syncing up with my heartbeat and the music itself was pumping my blood. Now that I’m older I’ve found that other things can be relaxing. Painting, working out, singing, creating, going for walks, and dancing have all been added to my arsenal of relaxation.
That doesn’t make them mediation though. There is a difference between being meditative and actively meditating that a lot of people tend to avoid. We lead busy lifestyles that take away our free time and we make excuses. After a long hard day, doing a meditative task can sometimes be more palatable than actually meditating. But it doesn’t give us the same dividends.
When we are meditative, we are zoned out. Our minds are blank and we aren’t building anything upon the task we are doing. As we perform the task, our minds wander to whatever thought becomes the easiest to have while performing a task. And what happens when you think of something else other than the task at hand? We mess up the task and we lose that focus. As opposed to when we meditate. When we meditate we are not zoning out. We are in fact zoning IN to our minds. We centralize our focus to our breath. To the singular action of sitting still. To the moment of being alone with our own brain and thoughts. We are building our meditation muscles when we focus in instead of zoning out. By giving ourselves this opportunity to be in with our t minds we can then go further than just the mental space of our own thoughts. Only then can we find more of the magic we connect to.
By Gabrielle, AAW Member