Are you not thinking what I’m not thinking? Gaining perspective through meditation…
In this day and age where meditation is being touted about as ”the latest, newest discovery”, it is important to remember that it is something humans have been doing for thousands of years. That being said more times than not when I speak to someone about meditation the response is usually one of terror as in “That sitting still stuff really freaks me out and/or it’s too hippy trippy, spiritual for me!”
I always find it funny the “new age drama” people can put around what I believe is actually quite a simple, ancient practice. I try to explain to them that rather than looking at meditation as a thing you do or don’t do in terms of trying to stop thinking, rather view it as a way to gain perspective. Imagine you were in an art gallery and walked into a room with a large painting on the wall. If you walked right up to the canvas all you would see are blobs of colour and paint and probably not any real shapes or sense. But, as you step away from the canvas, the further you get the more you can start to make out the full picture and the colours in all their glory. You can now better understand not only what the artist is trying to convey but you also now have a better vantage point from which to interpret the work yourself. Either way you can see the whole picture and not just blobs anymore. Similarly if you are reading a book and you press your face right up to the page. You can’t make out the words however if you move the book away from your face suddenly you can read the words and the story begins to make sense.
Meditation is an incredible tool to help us gain perspective on life and the various situations that arise with it. Far from needing to be “spiritual”, the great thing is nothing more needs to happen in order to use it to help get that perspective. We don’t need to become any more enlightened, or more beautiful, smarter or even nicer for that matter. In meditation we are just stepping away from the judgmental, controlling, drama chasing, monkey mind so we can see the bigger picture. All we need is the willingness to step away from the busyness of the mind and allow for that greater perspective to find its way.
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Flow yoga mama to two baby yoginis and wife to an amazing guy, Mercedes Ngoh Sieff is one of the UK’s happiest and most creative Vinyasa Flow Yoga Instructors. She is also Co-Founder of the award winning Yeotown, Britain’s leading health retreat. Mercedes also loves to write and contributes pieces to Elephant Journal, MindBodyGreen and is now a blogger for the Huffington Post.