Thoughts on Meditation
While I consider Meditation to be an essential part of how I live my day today, it wasn’t always that way and when I look back at my attitude and priorities pre meditation, I can reconcile a lot of what didn’t seem to be going right for me.
What is Meditation? There are probably a handful of different responses to that question based your point of view, experience and associations. To me, Meditation is the way back to a unique gift we all experienced as children, the ability to be in the present moment. Researchers have indicated, that due to our highly evolved nervous system, one that is optimized for the receipt and processing of interruptions, better than 95% of our conscious thought exists in one of two domains; Memory, or Anticipation.
Why do I a reference the unique gift we had as children you ask? To answer that we first need to expand on where an adult’s thoughts are most concentrated; Memory (Past), or Anticipation (Future). If you’re honest with yourself, you should be able to witness your thoughts at any moment and see just how much of what you’re thinking about involves elements of the past and/or concerns of what will be in the future. These thoughts actually intrude on your ability to focus on just this very present moment, the moment you are experiencing right now. So back to the child reference. As children we don’t have a large inventory of memories to recall, nor do we have memories that impact the way we anticipate the future. It is for this reason you can see children playing delightfully one moment and having a temper tantrum the next, their responses are real time and present moment aware.
When you can dedicate your attention to the present moment you can experience the beauty of that moment and imagine feeling the way you do right now well into the future. We’ve all had such moments when in an instance we feel a rush of happiness or peace and can imagine nothing better. What if you could stretch that moment endlessly, can you imagine how little of the past or future would get in the way of you enjoying your present moment. In Deepak Chopra’s The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, he writes, “the past is history, the future is a mystery and this moment is a gift. That is why this moment is called ‘the present’”.
One other example of present moment awarness. If you keep a dog in your home as part of your family, know that your companion is always living in the present moment. When he or she greets after your return from being out of the home, they don’t recall seeing you off to work or school earlier in the day, they see you as brand new in this moment rushing to greet you like there’s no tomorrow.
As we grow from child to adult, our ability to experience the present moment becomes impaired and is overtaken by thoughts rooted in memory and/or anticipation. Meditation then becomes the adult’s tool to rebalance the amount of thinking and bring more present moment awareness into the mix. Many folks think about Meditation as a tool for calming, or stillness and indeed those are elements of the effort, but true Meditation is all about finding the space between thoughts, the gap.
As I learned more about Meditation origins and applications, I began to appreciate just how difficult it truly is to learn to Meditate with the intent of experiencing ‘the gap’. Once I had experienced my own ‘gap’, I became dedicated to this experience and brought this exercise into my daily life. Not every Meditation is equal in its depth, but every Meditation is an opportunity to experience silence, stillness and the opportunity to check in with your True Self to ask these life questions; “Who am I?”, “What do I want?” and “What is my purpose?”.
At JothiVita we embrace Meditation and provide a wonderful workshop to help folks understand what it means to Meditate. Our Primordial Sound Meditation Workshop is held once a calendar quarter and we open our Meditation Library each Tues-Thur from 6-6:30PM to help students reinforce their commitment to this important life choice. If you’d like to learn more about the power of daily Meditation, stop by our Center and ask us your questions.