I have been asked numerous times in my life if I meditate. I often wonder what they mean by that? What is their perspective on meditation? Often people visualize a Yogi in lotus position chanting OM... While above is a picture that many seem to aspire to, it can seem slightly unattainable to some. There are no limitations or rules on “how” to meditate, difficulties arise when people think there are.
According to Google the definition for Meditation is;
The action or practice of meditating ~ a life of meditation
synonyms: contemplation, thought, thinking, musing, pondering, consideration, reflection, prayer, deliberation, study, rumination, connotation, brooding, mulling over, reverie, brown study, concentration, speculation
As we can see here there are many types of meditation, even those who say they don't meditate do in their own way. In the Western society we have been conditioned to have certain viewpoints and pre-conceived ideas on things, especially when it comes to so called spiritual practices. The term meditation is considered to come under that category and can often be written off as la de da and impractical. What is not being realized is that meditation, simply put, is being YOU.
When you are doing what you love, you are meditating. Be it pottering in the garden, writing, creating beautiful artwork, playing sport, singing in the shower, sitting in lotus position chanting OM, whatever! If you love it that's all that matters. (As long as you are not negatively impacting any other being) In times when we are loving what we do, we are living in the heart space. The place where joy, compassion, love and intuition reside. Meditation is not in the mind, the mind is where stress and worry are created. Meditation is Mind-less.
I've heard so many people say “I'm no good at quieting the mind”, “I can't visualize things very well”, “I can't sit still for that long”. For a start the word can't is the mind. The heart uses the word can. The mind and ego are always trying to sabotage us, trying to distract us from hearing our own intuition. If you want to quieten the mind my best advise is to stop trying! Trying to do something is attempting to control... control is the ego.
For example: I was in bed the other night allowing a visualization to manifest. I had the key to my sub-conscious in my hand and the doors were appearing before me. It was a giant amethyst crystal door with amazing swirly gold hinges. But oh no I started to interfere with how the gold swirls looked. I attempted to control it. My visualization halted and I understood. How am I supposed to allow the knowledge held within to come into my conscious mind if I keep trying to control how it reveals to me? All I needed to do was be the observer.
Ever lose your keys and you spend ages trying to find them to no avail? But as soon as you stop trying to find them, you find them? Just something to ponder.
There are many ways and forms in which to meditate and what works for one may not work for another. It's all about what resonates with you personally. If you gain peace of mind and clarity that's all that matters.
So, when asked if I meditate my answer is always “In my own way”.