This is Why I Don’t Meditate.

0

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 2.6
Shares 7.8
Hearts 10
Comments 10
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 5.5
23 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.
11
2.1k

There are some things that fit easily into my daily routine—things that I must do for the day to operate smoothly.

These things include: doing yoga first thing upon rising, making the kids’ lunches before they are out of bed, getting water and snacks into my work bag, doing the dishes before bed, and writing daily.

Sitting down to meditate is not on this list.

I started my journey into meditation while receiving physical therapy for broken wrists in 1991. My therapist told me to find a way to “go somewhere else” while she worked on me. I got some books from the library and began a practice that is now integrated without needing to be named.

I don’t call it meditation anymore, because letting my mind separate from what is happening in my physical world happens without effort. I don’t sit down with a cushion and clear my calendar for any length of time. Yes, occasionally I will listen to a guided meditation on my phone to get some new ideas. Mostly, though, I have learned that my best meditative state happens when I am not planning or focusing on it.

Driving down the highway, I count the white lines and let loose my mind. Doing the dishes, I observe myself and my breath. Walking to the store, I measure my gait and let the rhythm of my steps transport me. Folding clothes, I bask in the glory of the perfect stacks. Gardening, I turn the compost while tuning my thoughts to the frequency of star sound.

Can this be meditation?

I have read books, listened to podcasts, attended lectures and courses, and studied Baba Ram Dass and Jainism. I have slept in the monasteries of Kyoto and Asahikawa to rise at the 4 a.m. gong and sit zazen. I have been cleansed by the smoke of 500 sage branches.

And still, I find meditation to be a dirty word—at least for me.

Meditation has become a buzzword. And I have shied away from trends and fitting in my whole life, so if you ask me if I meditate I will say, “Yes, and no.” In yoga classes, when the teacher invites a moment of stillness, I can easily fall into my favorite visualization of the serpent slithering through me, lighting up my chakras as she passes and coiling up to rest above my head in my eighth chakra, just above the sahasrara.

And still, I don’t meditate. This is because to “meditate” has connotations of effort and technique. Planning a time to fit meditation into my life is impossible. Instead of naming my practice meditation, I choose to leave my practice undefined. This frees me to renovate, reuse, alter, add to, and extrapolate when needed.

So, come join me in a mindful/mindless state; let’s level up our conscious connections to each other and the world around us. Let’s not meditate—together.

~

author: Shauntel Cooley

Image: Author's own via Delyse Braun

Editor: Nicole Cameron

0

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 2.6
Shares 7.8
Hearts 10
Comments 10
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 5.5
23 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.
11
2.1k

Read the Best Articles from October
You voted with hearts, comments, views and shares.

See Who Won

Shauntel Cooley

Shauntel Cooley is a mom, teacher, student of life, and fountain of energy. You will find her cruising the streets of Houston, Texas, on her green machine, strumming a guitar and organizing group massages in her backyard or traveling with/hosting couch-surfers around the globe. She believes in love. Follow her work on her blog.

You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

Linda Lewis Jun 29, 2018 10:23pm

Driving, doing dishes, walking, folding clothes, and gardening are great post-meditation activities, and are done extra mindfully if one has meditated before hand. Visualizing is not necessarily meditation. Mindfulness meditation or shamatha is the simplicity of sitting still w/ good posture, putting attn. on your natural breath, and when thoughts wander--gently bringing yr attn back to yr breath. As you practice it, it does become effortless. As a busy mom, perhaps you could start the day with 5 minutes of formal meditation as just described; then you really could call yr other activities post-meditation mindfulness.

Ingrid Ruhrmann Jun 29, 2018 6:40pm

luv ya .... ^i^

Mayra Garza Hitchens Jun 29, 2018 4:52pm

Shauntel, this is beautiful and inviting. It brings to me the details of the saying: 'Meditation is being in the present moment' and it reminds me to continue the practice of discovering both. Thank you for sharing it.

Gayle Fleming Jun 27, 2018 8:47pm

I love your honesty and although I meditate, I perfectly understand where you are coming from. Brava, for your self-awareness.

A.K. Mars Jun 26, 2018 8:11am

If you are doing yoga and saying you are not doing meditation. You are living in fools world. Meditation is integrated in each yoga move and Asana posture. And movement. Meditation does not mean you have to seat separately and do it. That is just one form or say variation. You probably have learned the yoga in wrong way. I live in the place where yoga originated. But I do respect you. Lovely mom. Read below it will shake you. :) “On the meaning of Belief!!! It is a terrible truth.” https://medium.com/decluttered-lifestyle/on-the-meaning-of-belief-it-is-a-terrible-truth-9501e31f4bd1

Dmitry Matison Jun 26, 2018 12:08am

but what is wrong wuth the word? ) ok, it's buzzfeed, but you determine the value of the word by yourself (just want to protect the word a little bit =)) but over all agreed - you can do anything and meditate.. practice drums - works fine

Elizabeth Calvo Jun 25, 2018 8:41pm

Shaunty, I really liked the article. Let's No-Meditate together, let's just be Presently present in any action. I hear my own voice, specially on the "folding clothes". Please keep doing what makes you shine!! Love to you!!

Ondina Aguirre Jun 25, 2018 7:57pm

Hi friend very good job on your article Keep it up! I’m so glad I have you in my life ❤️🎈

Enrique Chambers Jun 25, 2018 5:51pm

So, that's your secret. That's how you always look so carefree. That explains the positive energy from you. You're the best Shauny!

Shauntel Cooley Jun 25, 2018 5:38am

I am with you, Jill! I am so glad I take after you in so many ways!

Shauntel Cooley Jun 25, 2018 5:37am

Thank you, Joanie! I hug them hard like she would! Thank you for all your love and support!

Jill Meadows-Challis Jun 25, 2018 3:40am

I had to smile when I read your laundry stacks comment. One day, right after Josh and I had moved to the little White House we were at the laundry mat. I had just finished folding everything and was putting it in my basket when a beautiful older woman approached us and said something like, “I’ve never seen anyone take such care in folding their laundry and seeming so happy to do a chore.” I think of her and her sweet words every time I wash our clothes. Josh was 3 at the time. I wonder if he remembers.

Joanie Busby Jun 24, 2018 10:02pm

yes you are your mothers daughter ! she would be so proud of you ..and love those kids so hard.