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What The Heck Is Meditation?

One morning, a few days ago, my uncle saw me meditating on the balcony & asked me what I was doing. Getting out of the meditation, I showed him the Calm app and explained its various features to him.

Later that day he sent me a Facebook post of someone popular saying -

I won’t advise meditation for anybody. This exercise in wilful depersonalization carries a lot of potential for harm. Keep away from the crap!

This got me thinking, what is meditation? what is this exercise I’m doing daily?

Before I got on the meditation bandwagon, I used to think that it is some mystical practice that will get me into a trance state and I’ll be experiencing visions of expanding universe & cosmos.

I came across Calm on a rainy day back on July 16' and started properly using it in 2017. For the first six months or so I kept trying to clear my mind & reach nirvana while meditating. For those 10 to 15 minutes I sat, I didn’t want any thoughts entering my mind. I concentrated and tried hard to block out everything around me, thoughts, sounds, sensations, and feelings. I wasn’t having much luck and got irregular at it.

I started using Calm again around April 18', I was going through a bit of an arduous phase in my life and needed something to quiet all the noise in my head. This time around, something clicked, maybe because I wasn’t trying so hard. I sat with everything that was troubling me. Thoughts came and went, I just focused on my breath.

I started understanding that meditation was about being here, now. It is just about being fully present in whatever I’m doing, whether it’s having a conversation with someone, doing my work, watching something, or reading a book.

How exactly does meditation help there? Well, when you sit there, without doomscrolling, with nothing to keep your attention, your mind inevitably starts thinking about the day ahead, what you’re going to eat, what someone said, or the smart comeback you’ve prepared.

Meditation teaches you to come back to the breath, every time, without judgment. Thoughts will keep coming but you don’t have to follow them, engage with them. You come back to the breath. Keep doing it long enough & random thoughts will have less of a hold on you. You’ll be more present in your activities and engagements. You’ll be faster in recognizing the thought loops you are in and easily come out of them.

So, what the heck is meditation to me?

It’s a gift to myself. It keeps me grounded and helps me enjoy the beauty of everything around me. It’s being here and now, fully alive in anything and everything that I’m doing.

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