Can you meditate?

Can you meditate?

I often hear people make the following statement: ‘I can’t meditate…’ usually followed by one of the many reasons why they believe it’s not possible, such as: ‘I don’t have time,’ ‘I can’t sit still,’ or ‘my mind is too busy.’

It’s true, the mind is very busy. If I were to paint a picture of what my mind looks like during meditation, it would be this! 

Often we create our own barriers to meditating and part of the issue is that we don’t realize that meditation is much more than sitting still in lotus pose on the yoga mat.

We don’t meditate to become good meditators – we meditate to get in touch with ourselves, to be at peace with the universe, and to be fully in the moment [1]. If we attend to many of the activities in our daily lives with mindfulness and by remaining present we can incorporate meditation into almost anything that we do – even the dishes!

Our attitude affects our behaviour which in turn affects our experience. When doing the dishes for example, if we approach the task with negative feelings and an expectation that it will be a daunting and dirty job then chances are it will be. Recently a friend described her approach to doing the dishes beautifully; ‘I see it as a loving gesture that I am doing for my family after sharing a meal together. Sometimes if one of my children wants to talk to me I let them know they can while helping me to do the dishes. If they choose not to participate then I see it as an opportunity to have some alone time and I will connect with them afterwards.’

It takes practice to cultivate a different attitude towards things that we might not initially enjoy so perhaps take a moment to try it out in your life and see what happens… small steps.

[1] Ralph L. Wahlstrom, The Tao of Writing (Adams Media, USA, 2009).