A while back someone close to me tried to convince me of the importance of mediation. He was certainly more “spiritual” than I was, and while I was very touched by his attempt to help me help myself, I never really took his advice and tried the practice in my own life ever.
However, over the past few months as my schedule has gotten more and more hectic I’ve found myself needing to take time more often to ground myself. What I realize now that I didn’t realize then is that meditation is really a fluid word for the practice of mindfulness. In reality I have been meditating for a long time.
Before anyone disagrees with the semantics here, let me explain what I mean. Taking time out your day to disregard immediate responsibilities and simply allow yourself the space to let your mind wander freely is to me, both meditation, and mindfulness. It might be listening to music, or walking down the beach, or working out, or sitting under a tree legs folded. But no matter how you practice it, I am beginning to think that it is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.
Im not even sure I can put into words exactly how this practice has helped me. In a sense I think it is about the release of pressure: my mind is occupied by a million things at all times of the day, often making me feel overwhelmed and even desperate at times when my lengthy responsibilities feel insurmountable as a whole. But taking time to meditate, to clear your thoughts, reminds you that these concepts into which we invest so much of our ego are simply transitory concepts which we can easily let go of should we decide to.
Practicing the art of mental minimalism is a fantastic way to prioritize your energy. When packing an empty backpack, you often add the most important items first. Similarly, after meditating I find that my responsibilities and goals filter back into my mind in a hierarchical manner that informs me of my true feelings on each of them.
Mindfulness has thus become an essential part of my daily routine, even if I didn’t realize it. I encourage anyone reading to take up the practice. I promise it’s far less corny than it seems.