Meditating isn’t easy for any of us. But some of us find it so ridiculously frustrating and difficult, it feels like masochistically smashing your head against a wall for zero benefit.
Well, I have good news: you don’t need to meditate.
Let me clarify…
Meditation has a shit-tonne of really powerful benefits. A bit like doing weight training in the gym.
But what if you don’t like weight training? Are there other fitness methods you can use to help you get closer to your goals, but which feel far more enjoyable to you personally?
Of course there are!
And the good news is, it’s the same with meditation. Think of meditation as a type of exercise which can help you get mentally and spiritually fit… and there are other ways you can get similar results.
Meditation has an air of mystery about it… or, being more realistic, there are a hell of a lot of confusing aspects to it.
It seems that very few people are skilled at communicating the true benefits and proper techniques of meditation. It really is NOT about getting rid of all thought. And it is NOT just a way to feel a bit more relaxed. It’s way way more powerful than that.
Two of the best secular, non-spiritual, non-religious meditation teachers I’ve encountered are Andi Puddicombe (founder of Headspace) and Sam Harris (founder of the Waking Up meditation app).
Both those guys really know what they’re talking about. And they are great at guiding you through the techniques of meditation in a no-bullshit manner, in order to help you have new perspectives on various aspects of modern life and reality. (That sounds grandiose, but trust me, it’s true).
But here’s the thing… you don’t actually need to meditate in order to understand the lessons which you can learn from meditating. In fact, it’s my contention that meditation’s secrets are actually quite simple to teach.
Telling people they must meditate in order to understand its lessons is a bit like telling people they have to work back-breaking shifts in a dirty mineshaft in order to understand that we burn coal to give us electricity.
If you’re intelligent and open-minded enough, I believe you can learn the lessons of meditation without meditating.
All you need to do is “try out” a certain set of beliefs, attitudes and techniques in your own life. Experiment. See how they feel, see what (if anything) you experience.
I was going to add in the quote from Aristotle here…
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
It turns out, he didn’t say that. Apparently it’s a gross over-simplification.
Even if he didn’t say it, I like the quote, so I’m leaving it in.
In a future post, I’ll go into more detail about what I believe are the specific lessons you can get from meditation. And I’ll attempt to teach them to you without asking you to sit bolt upright on a hard floor in silence for 8 hours.
By the way, I might be totally wrong about all this. I’m rubbish at meditating, so how do I know what all of its benefits are? Well let’s just say I’m taking educated guesses… plus I’ve gleaned a few insights from my own attempts at establishing a meditation practice.
Watch this space.