Dying Daily #193: You Are Always Meditating

A lot of people think they cannot meditate.

They say that they have too many thoughts, that their mind is just too busy, that they just don’t have the time. Everyone is a special case.

But anyone really can meditate. Everyone is always meditating on something.

In reality, we are all meditating as long as we are awake, we are just rarely conscious of it.

I know people who meditate on anger, people who meditate on worry, people who meditate on anxiety. I know people who meditate on everything that was done wrong to them in the past, on how they are getting the short end of the stick or how nobody appreciates them. People meditate on their failures, on past mistakes, on how they are not good enough, on how they hate their job or spouse or kids.

Predictably, none of these people are happy.

Our minds are wired toward the negative, it’s a useful survival mechanism.

I don’t need to remember all the people who smiled at me, I need to remember the one who stabbed me in the stomach. I don’t need to remember all the times I crossed the street safely, I need to remember the time I stepped out in front of a bus. This helps keep me safe and alive.

Because of this, it takes a conscious intention to shift our constant meditation to something positive.

It’s not easy to turn our negative ruminations around, and very often our mind will resist this because it thinks doing so will put us in danger. This is why a daily sitting practice is so useful: it is a time of formally training our mind, of letting thoughts come and go, of accepting things as they are, and it starts to change the direction of the constant mediation we find ourselves in.

Intentional meditation helps shift the focus of our constant, unintentional meditation.

Our lives change radically when we are constantly meditating on gratitude, peace, patience, kindness, compassion and joy. Everything changes depending on what your constant meditation tells you about the world, and eventually you are meditating on silence all the time. Then things are easy.

What is your constant meditation?