If somebody told you they can teach you to meditate get your money back.
Nobody has ever taught anybody else to meditate.
You cannot translate existence.
It must be experienced for oneself.
There is no way to describe it.
Or learn it.
It can only be felt.
For most people, meditation, the art of being, involves sitting stiffly and silently.
In some circles this is accurate.
On my sphere it is just part of the whole.
Meditation is both active and emotive.
Both a doing and being.
There is a relationship between you and the practice.
A person might sit in solitude.
But just like there are many relationships between people.
People might be together, yet in neither case is love there or theirs.
There is no vibration of potency.
No frequency of joy.
No feeling of good.
Their style of meditation becomes as bland as their lives.
And who has it benefited?
Think of all of the monks that for eons have been denying themselves the pleasures and wonders of this world.
How many have realized?
We can count on one hand.
But you have never heard of these meditating monks.
Because that's all they do.
You have met them.
They are as good as dead.
And if it does not add vibrancy and flavor it is not meditation.
It is discipline.
You must be disciplined to sit and meditate.
And there is a time and place for as the Japanese say zazen or as the Yogis describe, dhyana, seated meditation.
But the purpose of meditation is not to meditate.
Just as the purpose of relationships is not to relate.
The purpose of meditation is to become more alive.
The purpose of relationships is to become more loving.
Neither take doing.
They require allowing.
Meditation helps us become more aware of the life and love that is happening.
So when it's happenin' pay attention.
Here are five of my favorite alternative ways:
5. Washing the dishes- Hated it. Until I loved it. Nothing glorious about washing the dishes. That's the point. Life is life. There are no moments to look forward to except the one that is happening. Are you enjoying it? How easy does our attention get diverted from a task as mundane as washing the dishes? Our consciousness and imagination is usually a million miles from us. So whenever I'm invited for dinner I always volunteer to wash the dishes afterwards. It usually takes less than ten minutes. A short but simple cleansing of the spirit.
4. Running - Moving works for me. I zone out. Or zone in. Depending on how you look at it. People say all the time, 'I love running it gets me out of my head.' Right. You're just moving forward. Step by step. You must be present. Breathe. Move. Be awake. Hmmm...Sounds a lot like another mindful practice...
3. Yoga - All yoga leads to meditation. We could argue that the whole point of the physical practice is to get to a place where we can actually sit comfortably in peace and quiet. Because when you do sit for a bit you begin to notice how challenging stillness can be. Your lower back begins to ache. Our shoulders begin to slump. Yoga prepares us for the seated posture. But it can also be meditative. There are moments in during every yoga practice that you forget your breathing, moving and thinking. When everything drops. There is a total let go. No distance between us and existence. This is meditation. All for around $15 per sesh.
2. Walking with nature - Self explanatory but that's never stopped me before. Earth is a paradise. Every inch of it. Or at least the inches not covered by cement. If you're a city dweller, the reality is you have to go to nature, she's not going to come to you. Until you're realized that is. So seek her and she will soothe your soul. A walk on the beach, through the forest or up a trail will do more for your peace and prosperity than sitting in lotus all day. Plus you can bring a date. Or a dog. Where they allow it.
1.5 Dance- This one is self explanatory.
1. Sex - Best for last. What could possibly require more of our awareness and consciousness and connection than sacred love making? Nothing demands more of our mind, body and being than sex. Plus it's really easy to schedule. We're always willing to make time for sex. What better opportunity to forget and discover oneself than in the heat of passion? What better way to grow and share your practice of being than by totally being with those closest to you? Plus next time your lover isn't in the mood just tell them you're going to meditate..