I have witnessed much discussion about the art of meditation, and whether it truly works. After engaging commercial versions of meditation, I have discovered that I’m not well off more than I was an hour prior to initiating the process. I’ve often wondered why that is the case. Am I not focused enough? Are the sandy beaches I’ve envisioned not sandy enough? Are there too many dead fish? Are the skies the wrong shade of blue? Is there a tsunami coming my way and no one warned me?
Interestingly, it’s comforting to know I’m not the only one that cannot achieve basic Buddhist principles when it comes to meditation. A shady fuckducker in the last 20 years decided that sitting still and think really hard about pleasantries was a good and manipulative way to make money. More and more people rise up from the crowd and proclaim themselves as “certified life coaches” that help you locate and maintain your inner peace. When you are unable to locate your inner peace after wasting precious time on reading the works of “life coaches” or watching videos of disingenuous nature, you’re no better off than where you started.
For some, sitting perfectly still while thinking about sunshine and kittens is satisfactory. This method allows the brain to activate the “cute kitten sequence” whenever bad juju comes their way. Buddhist monks live their entire life in meditation, ergo, the process is already implemented in them. And for those who have truly achieved this style, I salute you. However, for others, this method simply doesn’t work. Are we in the lazy category? Not thinking hard enough? The meditation and yoga experts will lead you to believe their program works. If you’ve fallen for that, then you’ve already failed.
The primary goal of meditation is to find and maintain inner peace. In America, we have bastardized this art so much that it’s more about money than your quality of life. For example, how many different type of yoga mats do we really need? And you can’t get a mat without getting the matching and adorable bag. And why not…..let’s eagle (pun intended) our way over to Lululemon to purchase the latest yoga pant so you can be the envy of your class (that is, if you attend a class. You certainly don’t buy new clothes to wear at home, do you?). Meditation is a big money maker, no doubt.
America seems to be stuck in an infinite loop of debate when it comes to meditation. Most discussions link to a dire need in adopting the basic Buddhist fundamentals, then cry foul when it just doesn’t pan out. Perhaps it’s time I put an end to the debate by telling you how to truly find the inner peace you crave.
There is no answer.
There’s no answer because the process is as unique as the individual. You must approach the process as you would with diets: you, and only you, must find out which method works best.
And stick to the plan. That helps.
My meditative process:
- I ignore local and national news. I do not tune in to CNN or any other cable news channel. I do not watch the local news since so much of it is scripted and afflicted with advertising (every segment is sponsored by somebody….have you noticed?)
- I DVR everything, except local sporting events. That way, I’m not assaulted with pseudo manipulative tv ads.
- I save discussions of more sensitive topics for my husband. He and I are opposites in political parties. No doubt we have our differences, but I also know he will not resort to name calling if I think different. I know he will not bully me in any capacity. I cannot say the same for random strangers and acquaintances on social media. America is on high alert and too divisive. Initiating a topic of sensitive matters is too risky. It’s unnecessary stress.
- I read, but awfully picky with the selections. I seem to be coming across a lot of books that deal with the downside of real life. I don’t want to deal with real life. I want to escape. I want to meditate.
- I watch television sitcoms and movies that I love. I don’t watch something just because it’s “on.”
- I pray. I talk to God, and give thanks. I ask for His mercy and strength. Sometimes I eat chocolate during my discussions. He doesn’t mind.
(Don’t roll your eyes over what I just typed. Believe in weeds for all I care, so as long as you believe in something).
- And obviously, I write, and I maintain this blog. I’ve no idea how many followers I have because I don’t care. I write for me. All are welcome to enjoy the ride. But infatuation with follower count defeats the purpose. It’s what I refer to as “unnecessary stress.”
This is only a sampling of my meditative process. At the end of the day I find myself less angry with the outside world. I’m in a better place now than I was a year ago. I may not have to best in material things, as I feel so enriched with the simple pleasures of serenity already.
My routine won’t work for all, nor am I suggesting it. But it makes me happy, and it’s therapeutic. Isn’t that the whole point of meditating?
To summarize: there is no answer how to meditate, except to say you have to find what brings you the most joy.
Even if that means watching Star Trek for hours on end. Live long and meditate.