Meditation is one of those concepts and practices that conjures very different ideas of what is supposed to happen during that quiet time. Since I remember, I thought meditation was about clearing your mind and getting to some state of zen, where the universe will open answers and those answers will lead people to some sort of enlightenment. Everyone has a different mileage to get there but essentially that was the point; to quiet one’s mind.
In a recent reading about meditation, I realized that I had it wrong. I understand meditation now as an opportunity to observe all things that our minds brings to us, without becoming frustrated that they show up or without being judgemental about those thoughts. Avoiding the “Why am I thinking about this? ” sort of judgment.
It is observing our reaction to those thoughts that come up. The way in which we choose to remain open or to close ourselves, the way in which we cling to some and cringe to others. The purpose is NOT to stop them but to become aware of their existence. To become aware of the way they trigger certain reactions and emotions inside us.
That awareness allows us to be alive to what is happening instead of remaining ignorant. That awareness helps us understand the path that we chose or the one we are inclined to take. Perhaps to considered if that choice was purposeful or merely reactive. To understand if given the choice ahead of time, that is the path that you really intended to take regarding those thoughts.
The awareness also forces us to sit in discomfort realizing that sometimes we made choices from where there is no place to hide, no way to put lipstick on a pig to try to make it look good. To live for a moment in that discomfort and to experience those feelings.
The hope is that over time by observing and becoming aware, we may start making choices before our reactions are automatic. So meditate away. Heads up, is about to become noisy up there.