“The word meditation means, according to a good dictionary, to ponder over, to think over, to look closely, to come in touch with, not something sublime invented by thought, but come close and touch your daily life.” ~ J. Krishnamurti
We are all meditating, all the time—the question is: do we realize it or not?
Upon what are we meditating?
Well, that depends. In our formal practice, we may meditate upon our breath, a sound, a mantra, God, the sky, an altar, Buddha, our happy place or simply the total experience of the present moment. In our informal practice, we meditate upon our thoughts, beliefs, fears, concerns, curiosities, plans, memories and goals. We meditate upon the words we read and listen to and the images we consume.
We digest our information as well as food, so we should be mindful about the media we are consuming.
Know that meditation occurs as a natural effect of living life in the present moment—that at every moment is meditation—that there is actually no separation between practice and non-practice, between formal (on the mat or cushion) and informal (moving through our day).
Meditation is not the mere stereotype of sitting cross-legged on the floor with your hands in a mudra, breathing and emptying the mind. In fact, meditation is life and nothing less.
Meditation is brushing our teeth, showering, dressing, eating, working, playing, loving, listening, creating. Meditation is watching, observing, noticing, becoming more aware. Meditation is relationship, ceremony, devotion, discipline, and it is both mundane and divine.
Meditation is happening right now—we must pay attention and wake up in order to realize it.
“Why is there in our mind and heart this constant measurement? Measurement means comparison. I compare myself with you, wanting to be like you, wanting to be like your guru, like your highest example, whatever it is. Why do we compare at all in life? We say we compare in order to make progress. We are always comparing. You are beautiful, I am not. I want to be as beautiful, as powerful as you are. We want to be as enlightened as you are. There is always this competition of comparison between us.
If the daily living is not in order, you can meditate till you are blue in the face, that meditation has no meaning.
It is merely an escape; you might just as well take a drug and enjoy yourself. If you don’t put your house in order, which is your relationship, if that house is not in order, then your society will not be in order. You must begin near to go very far. The near is your relationship.
Meditation is not separate from daily living; it is not going off into a little corner, meditating for twenty minutes every day or every afternoon, every evening; that is just having a siesta.
There is no system. System implies practice. Practice means measurement—from what you are to what you want to be, and you may be practising the wrong note. And probably you are. You call that meditation. That meditation is totally separate from your daily living.
When you say I will do something, do it, never forgetting what you have said. Do not say something you don’t mean. That is part of meditation. That is, to be aware of your feelings, your condition. your opinions, your judgments, and your beliefs so that in that awareness there is no choice—just to be aware of the beauty of the earth, the skies and the lovely waters. When you are so aware, then there is attention; to attend not only to see the speaker but also to what your wife is telling you or your husband is telling you or your children are telling you, what the politicians are telling you—their trickery, their search for power, position. When you so profoundly attend, there is no centre as the ‘me’ to attend. That is also meditation.”
~ J. Krishnamurti
Author: Michelle Margaret Fajkus
Image: elephant archives
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina