What is NOT meditation?
What is NOT meditation?
Category: Meditation Questions posted December 2, 2011
When you're not actively or naturally pursuing inner awareness, acknowledgement and acceptance of the moment, is not meditation.
Meditation is how you look at what meditation is. Because meditation is an active thinking activity, if you're not doing, you're just not doing it.
Anything CAN BE meditation, it's what you choose to do that makes it mediation.
One Answer: This line of questioning is perhaps a way to begin. EVERYTHING is meditation if you're watching it and taking personal responsibility for what you discover. If you evaluate the qualities of all that you do, think and emote about, you are meditating. I think some people are not yet ready to sit. It's because they don't like themselves enough.
So instead, to start, MEDITATE on the organization and cleanliness of YOUR SPACE (that's the quality of your mind). If it's an unorganized mess, that speaks for itself.
Evaluate your PERSON. What are you attracted to in others? Do you like athlete's foot, toe fungus, broken out skin, slumping shoulders, a limp, body odor, a messy haircut, a mean attitude, lots of impatient interruptions, low energy, someone who makes lots of assumptions about you, one who never acknowledges the other person's contributions to a conversation? Do you want to be with a mate who lauds it over you? Then emulate those qualities. [ How you are is what you attract, OMG!]. If you prefer other qualities, research and pursue those instead. The NET and ASKING others will avail you of endless disciplines and methodologies.
And how do you care for YOUR PERSON (you say you know that the body is your sacred temple)- so do you listen to your aches and pains and methodically resolve them with safe natural methods, do you put this on the back burner as your last priority, or do you take prescription meds to cover up your dietary deficiencies- vitamins, minerals, exercise. Is your choice to pass off your fate to insurance companies or the MD who cow-tows to the gods of the Big Pharma$$$$$$ and tells you you'll be OK? Note: Nutriceuticals and research are within everyone's reach.
Evaluate the care you take in your choice of WORK: Is it what you want to be doing? Does it make your heart sing, or is it at least a steppingstone to discover that place? Did you do this because your parents told you to? Is it serving the betterment of children, womankind and mankind? What is the quickest way to cut through spending a house mortgage worth on school AND still be actively in or on the way to that dreamed of career because all the school in the world will not get you to RISK BEING YOU( you're different from everybody else). It's called a LEAP OF FAITH. What's keeping you dissatisfied TODAY that you can change right NOW? Do it right now.
Do you watch the way you INTEND WITH YOUR WORDS (do you intend peace?) in both speech and writing, in your responses or reactions to criticism, when you make judgments about others without knowing the *WHY* behind their chaos? Do you blame your feelings and reactions on others? If you're feeling them baby, they're YOURS (sometimes however, they are the projections of others, so watch)!
Study what works and compare it to what is ineffective. READ about what works for teachers, parents, gurus. People provide a lot of help if you just ASK.
Take careful notes and CHECK YOURSELF when you admire someone else and pursue them or their gig over your own value system. You are the embodiment of the Deity as much as they are. Where is your self-confidence? Self-confidence happens with success and success happens with FOCUS on WHAT YOU WANT. Be careful, because there is a difference between self-confidence and blown up pride. Argh...but you must must must take risks and make mistakes!
There is a flow in GIVING and being ABLE TO RECEIVE (hugs as well as criticism) that is balanced, healthy, and grateful. Life is precarious, but when GOD-GODDESS is LIFE, you are moving in the right direction.
Your post sounds as though you are angry with someone or something. I'm glad you shared how you are feeling and hope all is well for you today.
Your words really resonate with me and I agree with you. I love how you describe mindfulness in all aspects of life and I agree that it's of utmost importance.
I believe it is meditation, not just "introspection," as Jay said (sorry, Jay... I do agree with you on not being dependent on a guru though).
One question though: What makes you say that "some people are not yet ready to sit. It's because they don't like themselves enough." ???
To me, that seems like a pretty harsh statement, passing judgement on people. I think some people are just not ready because they are not ready. Maybe it's not that they don't like themselves... Maybe they don't even know themselves yet, or have never had a role model who sat, or have a lot of programming that meditation is "weird" or something. Why make this negative generalization?
Thinking too much about all this is what makes life so uncomfortable (and miserable) for many. What you describe prasadamgaja is in my opinion introspection and not meditation.
I think if one practices awareness all this evaluation comes to one's life effortlessly. So in my opinion one should simply practice meditation and then things will go its way.
Also while guidance is good meditation helps you to understand yourself better so you can find solutions for yourself. I see way too many people practicing meditation who are "dependent" on some teacher or guru or whatever. That's giving up responsibility for your own life and is pretty unhealthy.
But that's just my opinion.
One thing you said resonates with me.
About not being ready to set because you don't like yourself.
After reading your above answer, I feel like I was where you are about 2 years ago. A good friend and a psychologist started me on the right path. After all this time I am ready to set, I am learning to see things as they are, living right here right now, not changing the past or future.
The hard part is just giving in and setting down in a quiet space and breathing in and out. Acknowledging yourself and accepting yourself and loving yourself.
Why don't you start by sending yourself some loving kindness.
that's what this site is about, to exchange our ideas and if they are not the same then even better! That way if people read this they can look at things from different perspectives. There is no right or wrong anyway, just what individual persons think is right or wrong.
I do not think that looking into the different qualities of everything like Prasadamgaja wrote is necessarily meditation. For me awareness comes first or has to be part of it. That's why I think Prasadamgaja's description of meditation can be a bit misleading and problematic for beginners.
"If you evaluate the qualities of all that you do, think and emote about, you are meditating."
I practice awareness and that leads me to question a lot of things but simply questioning a lot of things doesn't lead me to moment to moment awareness. It gets me into the typical "doing" mode in which I concentrate and think and that is where I do not want to be when meditating.
There are practices like the mindful eating practice where you question from where the food came and who was involved in preparing it and they are great. But in these practices, practicing your awareness is combined with evaluation and that makes a big difference.