June 29, 2016
When it comes to the goal of meditation, one might say that the goal is that there is…no goal. In general, we can think of mediation as a time dedicated to “doing nothing”, which, in our day and age, is something that, oddly, we must be intentional about. Doing nothing is hard work!
Our cultural OS is results-driven. It is not difficult to see evidence that we are living in a time of schedules, deadlines, and benchmarks—in some ways, it’s how we are instructed to ascribe “value” to things. So, it can be difficult to let go of that model and simply have no objective, no goal, and no activity.
This isn’t a totally foreign concept, however. Take, for example, a coffee date with a friend. Is there a definite “goal” to that meeting? Usually, there is not. We simply sit, talk, and see where the conversation takes us. We don’t try to steer it toward a set, fixed, or predicted outcome. In fact, the value in sitting down to coffee with a friend is that there is not an intended outcome. It’s like a mini, shared voyage into the unknown (enriched by caffeine). Think of how disastrous and awkward the coffee-date would go if we kept interrupting the flow of conversation to ask, “Are we doing this right?”
The difference between meditation and coffee-talk is that we simply have more practice and more experience catching up with other people than we do catching up with ourselves.
And, that sentiment is at the core of meditation. Meditation is like a coffee date with our inner-self. We take some time to sit quietly and alone, and “see where the conversation goes”.
In a global sense, there is no right way or wrong way to meditate. If we go into our meditation practice with this idea in mind, we preempt the probability of feeling like we are not doing it “right”. Instead, by sitting quietly and just tuning into the mind—whose thoughts appear effortlessly and perpetually—we can get a glimpse behind the curtain at what else is going on.
Action: Decide the night before when you will have time the next day to sit for 5-15 minutes. Write it down and schedule it like an appointment. The next day, set the timer on your phone for your allotted time (5-15 mins) and sit and…do nothing. Try this for three days in a row. Jot down a few notes about what you experienced.
Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.
Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at StrengthsLife.com
His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world. He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Transformation Coach.
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