Meditation for the UnQuiet Mind

The concept of meditation has come up many times during my spiritual journey.  I have read the many benefits, I have heard all the ways it cures every aspect of life, I have even studied the many major figures who tout it’s life changing abilities.

So I tried it.

Many times.

And each time it went something like this-

Don’t think…. I’m not thinking… Look at me I’m not thinking!…. **Thoughts start to snowball*** Shoot, I’m thinking again!!!!  Stop thinking!  Be quiet brain!!!

And so it continued.  Each time I told myself to be silent, to stop thinking, all I did was think more.  I spent this “quiet time”  up in my head, judging myself for my inability to meditate the “right” way.

This of course was not true meditation, because meditation is not necessarily the complete absence of thought, and it is definitely not the judgement of those thoughts as they come up.  

Meditation is observation.  Meditation is presence. Meditation is calmness of the mind. Meditation is peace.  Meditation is practice.

But meditation is also a unique experience and we don’t all reach this quiet space the same way.

For many, the traditional seated meditation, with inward focus on clarity and concentration works wonders.  For others, the mind either will not, or has not been trained to relax this way.

Clearly this was one of my problems.

As my spiritual path has unfolded however, I have realized, that I have been meditating all my life in a very atypical fashion.  My brain had been taught to quiet, to focus, to be present and release all my inner turmoil of past and future.

In my younger years, I zenned out on stage in theater and became so focused I couldn’t remember what happened the second I stepped off the stage.

When I was in college, I danced whenever I could.  My mind would become so clear that as soon as a thought popped into my head, my footwork faltered.  It was noticeable to other people!  “What were you just thinking about?” with a smile of understanding from a close friend.

And now, when I write, physically write with a pen and paper, my brain becomes focused and the world falls away.  My words flow with a truthfulness that can only come from the heart.

All of these have been my personal forms of meditation.  The only times my brain can truly focus and become present, being in the moment and grounded, are during these times.

So yes, I meditate, daily in fact.  Sometimes for a thirty second present moment in the morning while I brush my teeth, and sometimes for an hour while I sit and write.

The moment I realized that I COULD receive the benefits of meditation in my own way, my world transformed. I now find myself looking for all the different ways I can bring meditation into my life without sitting quietly with my hands on my knees.  
How do you find inner peace and quiet?

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