Dear Meditation, You’re Nothing Special

…but I don’t want to live without you anymore.

I’m sure pretty much everyone has heard of you. You’re obviously well known in some circles, but I’ve heard your name uttered in places I would never have expected. It makes sense that knowledge of your existence is widespread, since you’ve been around and in practice since at least 1500 B.C.E. And it’s fantastic that every knows you, but you’re like a reclusive A-list celebrity or an exotic remote honeymoon destination that goes viral on BuzzFeed. Most people don’t seem to know who you truly are.

I’m barely scratching the surface, but from what I’ve learned so far, you aren’t even all that special. I’m not trying to insult you. You are still capable of some pretty amazing things and I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t dare try to live my life without you at this point. When I say you’re not special, I just mean you’re accessible, almost zero barrier to entry. I couple years ago I spent time with you after doing a some research on meditation technique and it definitely helped me. More recently, I learned a little more about the your basic concepts using Headspace…the smartphone app. And let’s face it, once you have your own app, there’s no reason anyone should be afraid of you. Yes, It takes time and energy (aka practice) to really get the most out of you, but that’s no different than learning a musical instrument, or another language, or how to grow the most delicious rhubarb. It’s doable. It’s not magic — until you put that rhubarb in a pie with strawberries.

Still I find you essential. I’m an extremely logical and analytical person so I believe this for a few reasons:

  1. Brains are ridiculous
  2. Brains are ridiculous
  3. BRAINS ARE RIDICULOUS
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
— Albert Einstein

I’m firmly in Einstein’s second group. It’s a miracle that my brain and body function together in the way that they do. It’s a miracle that a “thought” is even a thing that exists and we pretty much universally agree that it does. It’s a miracle that I have the ability to turn those thoughts into action and potentially change the world, all based on a somewhat unexplainable series of electrical signals that take place in the heap of fatty tissues I hide in my skull. There are literally millions of things going on right behind my face at all times, even when I’m sleeping (arguably even more when I’m sleeping). There’s no way for anyone to manage it all. So now I’m learning how to let go and be more of an observer of the madness instead of a conductor of it. You are teaching me that and I appreciate it.

Meditation, you are just a simple and straightforward way for me to deal with the insane number of sensations, thoughts, and emotions that find their way into my life each day. I’m going to need to get to know you really well over the next few years. I hope you’re ready for me.

Yours,

Omari Akil


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