What is Meditation?
Often when we think of “meditation”, we have an image of someone sitting in a serene environment, usually looking calm and peaceful. Maybe they’re in a beautiful monastery. Maybe they’re sitting on a quiet mountaintop. These scenarios all may be wonderful and true, but really, meditation can happen anywhere at any time. Meditation means how do you keep your mind clear right now?
Some years ago, I read a comic that had images with no text. It showed a man driving his car and while he was driving; he was thinking of work. When he was working, he was thinking of vacation. When he was on vacation, he was thinking of home. When he was at home with his family, he was thinking of work.
Most of us can relate to this man. Often when we are doing something, our mind is somewhere else. Thinking is not good or bad, it is just when we attach to it or get lost in our thinking, we can’t see clearly what is in front of us. And that has a natural result.
If we are driving, and we are attaching to thinking, it will have a natural result. If we are at work or school and we are attaching to our thinking, it will have a natural result. If we are listening to a loved one or friend, there will be a natural result. The natural result from attachment to thinking is a separation between us and what is in front of us, resulting in some sort of problem for ourselves and those around us.
Meditation means to come back to this moment, come back to clarity. If we are driving and our mind drifts off but we come back, that is called driving meditation. If we are at work and our mind drifts off but we come back, that is work meditation. Just like sitting meditation, we keep returning to what we are doing right now in each moment of our lives and then use this clarity to help others.
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