( Why and How to Meditate, If You Can’t Sit Still)
All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quiet in a room alone.
Having the attention span of a gnat, I find traditional meditation practices impossible.
This writing attempts to give a practical real world answer to the two questions most of us with short attentions spans would ask:
1) why should we attempt to martial our million –mile- an- hour- thoughts for even the briefest of time, and 2) how on earth is it even possible?
The answer to question 1 of this conundrum came from a bit of very popular culture, my favorite TV show, Scandal. I heard this sentence and it really got my attention. One of the characters said,
“ True power hides in plain sight. It is subtle and doesn’t’ swagger.”
An arguably evil fictional character spoke these words, but it started me thinking of how true they really are.
Real personal power cannot be acquired by sheer force of will or intellect. In fact, if we are in a mess and don’t seem to be able to get ourselves out, it is our best thinking that landed us here.
True power comes from the Source of all power, and that is never ourselves.
My thoughts can race out of control like a quarter horse on speed, circling around and obsessing about a problem, a goal, an anything, until I’ve made it worse.
It’s time to let go, or I will be dragged. The harder I clench down on a problem and focus solely on it, the more I will be dragged away from any possible solution.
The reason and the method are one in the same:
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us, and the power to carry it out.
It doesn’t say we have to do this perfectly. It says we have to improve. We have to try. It also doesn’t say we have to be a cleric or a mystic to do this. We have to only seek the God of our understanding. He will do the rest.
The simple answer to the question of why is so we can let go of this world just long enough to link up with the divine world and remind ourselves that it and He is there, waiting for us to ask for help. Improve conscious contact….
The answer to how? Seek to improve conscious contact. Seek him.
All we have to do is let go of turmoil and questions, unclench, and seek our higher power for a few minutes, long enough to open ourselves to our power source and receive his infinite power, infinite love, wisdom, discernment and everything else that is good.
I have such admiration for those who can place themselves in a meditative trance for an hour, who have prayer closets that they visit regularly, or who write in their journals every day.
But, we don’t have to do that. I can’t do that.
For me, it is enough to go outside, sit in the sunshine, and listen to the wind chimes on my front porch for a few minutes. If the weather is bad, I have a meditation playlist on my iPhone that contains popular songs that inspire me. Some are worship songs. Some are not. It isn’t important what anyone else thinks about what they mean. I get what God is trying to impart to me. By letting go and listening periodically, I can keep his word and his will in my heart.
It is NOT easy, but it is simple and it is worth it. Anything can be a meditation or a prayer. A walk, a song, a journal, a wind chime. They key is finding one that works for you.