I started meditating when I was going through some challenges in life. I discovered how it helped me to practice and support me towards more awareness and calmness.
I follow quite simple meditation rituals ranging from focusing on the breath, focusing on different parts of the body or objects in the environment. It may also include noting thoughts or emotions.
After having meditated quite a few years, I have increasingly noticed how different things I do affect the mind. From common things like how insufficient sleep and alcohol consumption decrease the abilities of being mindful – to deeper insights that I will not to share in public.
One insight that I do want to share however is that if we accept that meditating is a way of training the mind, we also have to accept that everything we do or think regularly affects the mind and hence is a kind of meditation – for the better or for worse.
In a time where liberal values have replaced religion in many parts of the world, we are free to do and live how ever we want within the boundaries of the law and there is only the higher purpose and standards that we create for ourselves.
But we should not fool ourselves and believe that what we do and think does not matter. It really does, because over time the habits we create become self reinforcing and semi-automatic. We are like spiders getting caught in our own web.
In other words, we need to be very mindful of what routines we create. What we eat and drink, how much time we spend on social media, sleeping routines and exercise habits are some of the most important components of a healthy body but also of a healthy mind. But also the words we use, how we react emotionally and how we handle stress and discomfort.
Questions like “is this helpful?” or “does this make me the best version of myself” or “does this promote true happiness” or “does it improve my relationships with people I care about” can help us to choose the right kind of routines – the right kind of meditation.
What kind of meditation will you engage in today?