Meditation vs Meditation
A. I meditate to cope with the stress of everyday life. The desired outcome is that I can keep up with the pace and not burn out. I love things as they are but sometimes feel stressed out.
B. I meditate to find out how everyday life fits me and vice versa. the desired outcome is that I can find a pace that suits me. I question how things are but sometimes feel fine.
If you’re in category A, then meditation is a good technique to push yourself a bit further without having to make drastic changes in the overall situation. You can keep your job, family, social life and leisure time intact. Maybe find space enough to find out where you can be more effective in time management and maybe create some blank spots in the calendar where you can add relaxing activities to further wellness and health.
If you’re in category B, stress reduction is only a possible by-product. Here signs of stress is more regarded as valuable information about the big picture. Something is not 100% right about your everyday life. There’s an itch somewhere and you wanna find out where it comes from, not just scratch. Here you will probably find that stress or unease will expand and intensify rather than fade away. Looking hard into yourself is not spa-life to begin with.
Well then, why is an activity that absorbs you, like gardening or cross words, the opposite to meditation? The answer is; it isn’t for as long as you remain in category A. But then “meditation” is equal to a lot of activities with a function of “relaxation”. Of course, anything you do that narrows your focus will turn of a lot of internal chatter which is good. Breath counting can do it, jogging can do it and reading a book can do it. It’s everything that isn’t useless ruminating or mindless to-do-listing. Everything that brings your attention to a specific spot will generally have that effect.
If in category B, then everything that keeps your focus away from what is going on in your mind/body a distraction. You cannot meditate in this sense if your occupied with something extarnal that requires all your attention. Such activities makes it especially hard to take an observers view. There’s no panoramic awareness going on in a person absorbed in his/her favourite activity.
So, depending on how and why you meditate, being caught up in “flow” can be either pro or con.
This post was not that good. It took to much effort. It’s too vague and maybe too obvious. I’ll publish anyway. There’s a practice in accepting the mediocre too. Sloppy post, well done.