Today, I am going to explore the answer to a very common question: What do you think about meditation? You do hear this question a lot when you are in a group of people that love to self improve but have not yet tried meditation or have just started trying meditation. As someone who has practiced meditation for years and who have enjoyed the benefits of it. I would like to share with you what I think about meditation. To make this blog post even more interesting, I will also share with you some common misunderstanding about meditation.
Meditation is Useful but No Where Near Magical
There are times when I hear from someone who have just started practice meditation that praises meditation to a point that I thought I am hearing about some sort of magic. There is no doubt in my mind that meditation is useful and helpful but it is not the magic pill that can help you solve all the problems or make you ten times as smart as your are. I believe that, nowadays, there are simply too much hype about meditation. I think it’s better to treat meditation as taking a long walk. It is something that make us relax our mind which is something very important and useful. By making our mind clear, there is no doubt that we can make better decisions. But if you don’t describe taking a walk as something magical, don’t describe meditation as magical.
Meditation is Probably the Most Convenient Way to Clear My Mind
As touched on in the previous paragraph, I think that having a typical meditation session like a mantra meditation or a breath meditation session is very similar to taking a long walk. To be more precise, I roughly value a 10-minute mantra meditation session as much as a 45-minute long walk in terms of their effect in making myself think clearly. I actually prefer the long walk because I also like how it allows me to refresh my body at the same time. However, I can have my mantra meditation regardless of the weather and I can usually fit it better in my schedule. I like to describe mantra meditation (breath meditation should work equally well, it’s just that I prefer mantra meditation) as the most convenient way to clear my mind. I like how I can have my 10-minute mantra meditation every morning, regardless of the weather and my work schedule. (Very rarely would I found myself not being squeeze a 10-minute meditation session into my schedule even when I am busy.)
Many Beginners Think Meditation is Difficult
When you hear from people that are just beginning to practice meditation, you can hear them say that meditation is too difficult for them. Indeed, I would argue that, in today’s culture, sitting down and not looking at a smart phone for minutes is hard for many people. We are at a point where we probably have the least patience in the human history and the amount of patience people have probably will going go lower. There is no doubt that having to sit down for say 10 minutes, having the eyes closed and doing close to nothing are difficult for those people that are living in the era that people check the phone and check email every 5 minutes if not one minute. But if you can force yourself to meditate for a few weeks, everyday, everything changes. You will begin to get used to it and you begin to learn to appreciate the quiet mind that comes as a result of meditation. Indeed, the quiet mind is the reward that you will get and that reward makes you want to do meditation again the next day. Over time, the routine of meditating daily becomes a habit.
Meditating 10 Minutes Every Morning is Enough to Me
I have also learnt that by my own experience that everyone has a different optimal amount of meditation. You will easily find from the internet the suggested amount of meditation is 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes before dinner or before sleep. For myself, I found that 10 minutes in the morning is enough to make you mind clear enough to operate in an effective and relatively un-biased way. It’s not that a total of 40 minute of meditation is not good to me, it’s just that I would have trouble sticking to my plan every single day. On the other hand, it is not that difficult for me to spare 10 minute each morning for meditation. Even though the amount of meditation doesn’t seem much, the 10-minute a day routine and its consistency does pay a lot of dividends. For you, it may be 20-minute a day or 40-minute a day that works well for you.
You Don’t Have to Meditate if You Don’t Want To
Although I am a big supporter of meditation, I always think that you don’t have to meditate in order to keep your mind clear. There are alternatives. The importance is that we understand that we operate more efficiently and we make better decisions when we have a clear mind, so we should try to clear our mind every single day. If you understand that, find a way to get your mind clear. As suggested a little earlier in this piece of writing, walking 45 minutes a day is a good way to clear your mind. I would go as far as saying that taking a long walk is form of meditation. If you are considering using long walk as your go-to method of clearing your mind, I can share with you a nice trick to make your long walk become part of your life. All you have to do is to get off the bus or train stations a few stops before the actual destination stops. Walk the remaining distance and there’s you long walk.
In conclusion, I think that meditation is a very useful tool but it’s not as magical as some people market it to be. Meditation can be a little difficult to do at first since we don’t have a lot of patience living under this current culture but it will get easier if you get past the first few weeks. You can replace formal forms of meditation like mantra meditation and breath meditation with long walks if you like. All you are trying to achieve is to clear your mind everyday so you can think better and make better decisions.