It’s not so much that I’m ‘anti-meditation’. Meditation can mean different things to different people. There are a multitude of ways to do it. I just don’t. Meditation, even in terms of quieting the mind, works for many people at a variety levels. And if it works for them, brilliant.
Here, though, is why I encourage people to either not meditate OR to include an exercise other than meditation as mind-quieting:
I think people should actually pay attention to their thoughts, what they might otherwise think of ‘just noise’ in their head. To me, the business of quieting the mind without understanding what’s going on in it serves little purpose.
Is there value in what I call a ‘no think’ state of mind (yes, that word was chosen on purpose)? Absolutely. I’m in it a good chunk of the time-sometimes through a brief conscious effort, sometimes I stay there for days (that makes it difficult to get ‘sponsible stuff done, though. Such is the life of the Misfit Mystic!) Is there value in getting quiet and being still? Damn skippy.
Our minds are very busy things. They keep the body running (a feat of such magnitude its hard to imagine), help us interpret the world around us, keep us safe, process data and experience, help us determine actions, engage all of our senses, weigh us down, create patterns and all sorts of other niftyness.
I just happen to think that mindfulness should be turned onto the mind. When clients are laying on the table they will sometimes say, “I can’t turn my mind off. How do I do that?” When I respond with a ‘why’, generally speaking, the response is, “Well, I’m supposed to. Right?”
My reply is usually something along these lines: “No. How about not caring about what your mind is doing? Why not consider that, in all the stuff running around in there, there is a something for you? Why not pay attention to the thoughts as they come? Why not let them come and go without, well, thinking about them? Why not, if you choose to pay attention to them, decide if they are yours or not? If you need them?” I add more specific information and guidance when working with psychic empaths who are beginning to engage their gift.
There are a lot of things running around in our head that do not serve us. There is no need for them to take up space & awareness & energy. You know your gerbils well. Those repetitive, looped thoughts that go around and around, like a gerbil on its wheel in the middle of the night?
We have the control over those but first we have to recognize them. Before we can squish the gerbil, we have to understand if it’s ours: is it a thought of our own generation-did we create it,or did someone else plant the seed for it?
When we know the difference and are willing to address our own thoughts, stories, patterns of response (and those of others) honestly, we can kick the gerbil straight off the wheel. Our make take a few times to break the habitual reliance on the thought pattern but it can quickly go.
Recognizing & paying attention to what is happening in our minds allows us to hear and know ourselves.