Doing Nothing

It’s been a couple of months since I last meditated. I’m human. I make excuses on why not to. The benefits are obvious and it’s silly that I don’t do it more often. I read books on meditation, watch movies with characters that meditate, and I really want to do it. But usually when it comes down to actually doing it, I choose not to.

Last night I procrastinated. I wanted to meditate but I shoved it to the back of my head. The same feeling comes and goes often, so I didn’t think too hard about it. When bedtime came around, I decided that I wanted to meditate. Not only did I want to do it, but I decided to do it for an entire hour. That’s significantly longer than I usually meditate for.

I just went with the whim and set the time on my phone. When I sat, I cleared my mind the best I could. Thoughts kept arising left and right. Music that I listened to earlier in the day came to the front of my head. The tunes drove me nuts. I just wanted mental silence.

Eventually I started focusing on physical sensations. What my body feel like, how heavy I am, the sound of the AC unit, and the taste of my tongue. My mind kept grabbing my attention and that song kept coming back over and over again. It felt chaotic. Every nerve inside of me made me want to get up and do something more productive.

Then I realized something; my view of meditation has been skewed. All this time I had tried to make meditation more than it was. I wanted clarity and mindfulness. Yet both of these are things that I could choose to have more of. My goal became to simply sit. I abandoned any expectations I had. I only sat. I slowed my thinking and paid attention to the physical sensations around me.

Meditation is really boring. Sitting down for an hour and literally doing nothing but breathing is not an exciting experience. I didn’t try to make it an exciting experience. I didn’t try to make it anything more than it was. It was just sitting.

If I couldn’t just sit, then how could I live other parts of my life totally. Sitting is an incredibly simple exercise. All you do is have your butt on the ground. If I couldn’t put all my consciousness in that, how could I walk totally, or talk to others totally. Learning how to sit fully would be the first step towards living totally.

Most of life is boring. Going to work, eating, sleeping. These are generally mundane activities. Trying to make them more important than they are is a cause of suffering. To eat with a wandering mind, I avoided tasting totally. When I walked, my mind would drift off. How am I to enjoy life if every moment that isn’t exciting makes me disconnect? I think the point is to stick with it. To live with the mundane and really enjoy it. Then, when you’re really enjoying it, you can experience the really exciting things totally as well.

Maybe that didn’t make complete sense. It’s hard to put it in words. Doing nothing has really had an impact on my life. Silly as that sounds, sitting has improved my life.

BLOGtober day nineteen!

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