I used to have this image in my mind of what meditation looked like: sitting quietly on the floor, doing nothing. And this seemed so terribly. . . boring. So it’s no surprise that meditation never interested me. Until I learned that it could look quite different.
You could sit in a chair, for instance.
And I discovered that the sitting still was actually fascinating, because once I closed my eyes I became aware of all kinds of other things: sounds, sensations, thoughts. It was like going on a private little trip — only instead of taking me away somewhere, it brought me closer to the present moment and my own self. I began to notice just how much was going on underneath the surface of my mind. Sometimes it was a monkey mind, jumping from one place to another, playing with thoughts as if they were shiny toys. Sometimes it was storm of ideas and emotions, and I’d feel swept up in the stories.
There was always something to discover. And a quiet space between the part of me that was observing, and the part of me that was experiencing.
I’ve learned that there are lots of ways to meditate. It doesn’t have to look a certain way.
You don’t have to be a monk or a nun. You don’t have to have perfect posture. You don’t have to be chanting or sitting on the floor or wearing organic hemp robes or essential oils. You don’t have to be solemn. You don’t have to have bells or incense or any particular belief system.
You just show up. You observe what’s there.
That’s the foundation. The beginning.
And there’s more, of course.
Once you start to practice, it’s like discovering a super-power. And as with any super-power, how you choose to use it is up to you. You might use it for your marriage, or for work, or for sex, or for peace of mind, or for health. You might use it to handle stress, or anger, or grief. Or to enhance confidence, or pleasure, or joy.
But now I’ve drifted from my intention in this post, which is simply to show you one example of what meditation looks like. (When you drift, notice it, then come back.)
So here’s a video I shot when I was teaching in the West Indies. It’s a guided meditation I filmed for you, so you that you can see what I look like when I teach. Just one example of what meditation can look like.
I’m putting together a set of recordings and self-study worksheets based on my teachings at Montpelier. Stay tuned for more details. Or join my list if you haven’t yet, and you’ll be the first to hear about it when it’s released.