Written by: Angie Noll
I think most artists understand the need for meditation, and many actually feel drawn to the practice, but they don’t know how to meditate and so it falls into that vague group of things that they will try for inspiration “one day”.
The two most common reasons for not meditating
- Lack of time
We’re all busy. There’s no denying that. Modern life just is fast and demanding – and to fit in not only time for your creative expression but also for meditating, can be overwhelming.
However, most artists who use the lack of time as a reason for not meditating, manage to find time to watch television, chat on the phone, text friends and spend time on social media.
Not that meditating should replace all these activities, but “lack of time” is an excuse.
What it really means when someone says “I don’t have time” is either “I don’t want to” or “I haven’t prioritised it.” And those two things are very different from really not having the time to meditate.
- Lack of knowledge
There is not a whole lot that you need to know before you start meditating. You just start. You just breathe. It’s that simple. However, if you really want to dive deeper into meditation, then it can become as deep and complex an activity as you would like, depending on how much you explore.
Common myths about meditation
- You can only meditate if your mind is quiet.
Quietening the mind is the goal of meditation, yes, but every time you sit in meditation you’re working on this goal, and this is meditation too. Meditation isn’t only the end result, it’s the journey as well.
- Confusing meditation and trance
Trance states refer to altered states of consciousness. Meditation is a focussed state of consciousness. You don’t move into a different state of being – you don’t lose yourself, your Soul or your spirit. You’re simply focussed, whether it be on a candle, a sound, the breath or on the nothingness.
- You lose control over yourself when you meditate
During meditation, you’re always present. You don’t lose control over anything. In fact, meditation can also be seen as an extremely controlled activity – sometimes it’s the breath you’re controlling, at other times it’s the mind. It’s through this control that you reach the silent centre of your being – like pushing your way through a crowd to reach a quiet spot in the middle. You can’t reach this quiet spot by simply giving up everything.
- You have to be able to sit in lotus position to meditate
You can meditate in full lotus, half lotus, simple cross-legged pose, lying flat on your back or sitting up in a chair or even relaxing in your Lazy Boy. Whatever works for you and for the type of meditation that you’re doing.
- Meditation is difficult, and only for experts, yogi’s or Buddhists
Meditation is as difficult as you choose to make it. The point of meditation is to learn to surrender into the stillness, into our centre. You need only focus on the breath to reach that place, and that is not difficult. Different, maybe. A new experience, maybe. But not difficult. Anyone can do it – all that is required is a willingness.
- It takes many years to learn how to meditate
If you’re sitting in the garden with your eyes closed, enjoying the warmth of the sun on your face and not really thinking about anything – just being in the warm, relaxed moment – then you’re meditating. You’re doing the same same thing when you’re lying in a warm, scented bath or gazing out at the ocean or a mountain. Whenever you’re “just being” for a few minutes, not thinking or mulling over your problems, you’re meditating. The only difference between this impromptu activity and a
Whenever you’re “just being” for a few minutes, not thinking or mulling over your problems, you’re meditating. The only difference between this impromptu activity and a meditation practice is that you’re now purposefully learning how to reach that blissful state that you were in when you were sinking into the warm bubbles of the bath, or enjoying the sunshine on your face in the garden.
This is a very useful state for artists to be in, on purpose, during the creative process.
- Meditation is not allowed in my religion.
The state of just being, and quieting your mind, is not a religious state. It’s your natural state. It is completely separate from religious practices.
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