Stepping off the fast lane
“You should meditate for fifteen minutes each day, however, if you’re too busy, you should meditate for an hour.”
Or you can read fiction.
Meditation is primarily an act of relaxation. It is deliberately taking time out of a busy day to not do anything, to observe one’s thoughts and not really think. It is being transported to another world that calms you down and let’s you forget about all the hurrying and the running and the chasing that you do from one day to the next.
But meditation need not imply sitting down and closing your eyes. Not always. It can be anything that achieves the same purpose of calming the mind and slowing it down and letting the rush and the worry slip by to the side unnoticed, unacknowledged. And for me, there have been two other ways of doing this that are just as effective but in completely different ways.
One way is to plug in the headphones, put on some music (preferably instrumental) and run. The longer you can run without exhaustion creeping in, the more meditative the experience.
But an even better way is to read fiction. An engrossing story can transport you into another world and let you leave everything behind while you read, and that is what meditation hopes to achieve as well. It is not about reading a lot, nor is it about reading quickly. If someone tells you they read a book a week, you shrug your shoulders. So what? It’s not a competition. You read at a pace that suits you. In fact, you can re-read books that you’ve already read. I’ve done this several times with the Harry Potter series and Kane & Abel. It’s the same effect every time.
And it has to be fiction. Non-fiction books are meant to provoke thought, the exact opposite of what meditation wants to do.
On that note, I’m just about half way through my first attempt at writing fiction and will get to the ‘completed’ mark in another couple of months. Watch out for it and give it a read. Hopefully, it will take you close to meditation. ;)
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