Modern diseases are diseases of abundance. We need to retreat from time to time to stay mentally healthy, just by doing nothing. Meditation is nothing more than that, doing absolutely nothing, yet it’s very hard for most of us.
The definition of meditation is:
Think deeply or focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.
We are exposed to stimulus all the time. There are no moments of rest anymore. Every single moment of the day there is something that wants your attention, whether it’s your phone, your work, your partner, your business, your laptop, your tablet, your social media, your Netflix or your book.
None of them are really relaxing for the mind, because all of them need your attention.
The only solution is to turn everything off occasionally, because always being active is the fastest road to misery.
Joe Rogan spoke about meditation with Naval Ravikant on his podcast. This interview made me realise that meditation is really nothing more than doing absolutely nothing, and that it’s not a fad but mandatory to stay mentally healthy in today’s society.
I have tried to start meditating several times in my life, always at the point that I was really stressed out. Of course, this is too late, we should do it preventively.
I tried to use apps, YouTube videos or nothing at all. But every time I gave up again after a while. Even though I knew it really makes a difference for keeping peace of mind. So this is a new habit I want to implement in my life.
Turns out I was thinking about meditation in a too complicated way.
The purpose of meditating is to get to the point where you can think of nothing at all, for several minutes. This takes time and practice.
You don’t need an app for that, you don’t need videos, you just need to sit down and think of nothing at all.
Meditations, by DT:
— #deepthrill (@DeeperThrill) July 6, 2019
@DeeperThrill wrote a thread on Twitter about some of the things you can do to trick your mind into meditation:
- Sit down, close your eyes, and ignore your thoughts.
- Look for patterns in the white noise in the back of your eyelids.
- Count your breaths to 100.
- Try not to think about anything, but instead listen to the thoughts in your head until they speak in complete sentences.
- Stare at a patch of paint for 20 minutes
- Stare at the second hand of a clock for 20 minutes.
- See if you can smooth out your breath until there’s no distance between inhales/exhales.
- Try to feel your body from the inside out, noticing little pockets of tension or ickiness.
- Try to be so present that you notice micro-movements in the environment (like the subtleties of a leaf blowing in the wind).
- Pay attention to someone’s facial micro-expressions while you listen to them.
- Try to let any vision enter your imagination in rapid succession. You’ll get like 3 images/second flowing in if you’re doing it right.
- Try to feel gravity.
- Listen to the texture of sound, not the content. There’s always sounds around you.
As you can see, there are endless possibilities to retreat for a moment. In the beginning, you won’t be able to do any of these for more than two seconds.
But practice compounds and makes a difference after a while. You’ll start noticing more focus and more peace of mind.
To strengthen the body alternate intense training with good rest.
To strengthen the mind alternate intense thinking with meditation.
— The Ancient Sage (@TheAncientSage) December 19, 2019
All the stuff that happens in our lives needs to be absorbed and processed. Partly this happens when we sleep, but we need those moments during the day, too.
You just have to sit down and wait for the moment when all the stimulus are processed in your head, by listening to yourself. Just close your eyes, and think whatever comes up in your mind. There is no need to put effort in it.
That’s the point you want to reach, and that’s where meditation starts.