oh! meditation

Learned to meditate and found

that I always had

You want to learn to meditate? That’s going to be a good thing for just about anybody who is struggling with the world even in a small way. There’s nothing to learn, except to be here now

When I learned to meditate in a Buddhist setting, I slowly discovered that I’d always been meditating.

Sitting by the river, I’d always meditated

Staring out the steamed up school window, I’d always meditated

Alone at lunchtime, I’d always meditated

Driving with the radio off, I’d always meditated

Walking, I’d always meditated

Plugging school, I’d always meditated

At first in the Buddhist Group, I thought I was missing something. Others were having a revelatory experience, I wasn’t. I realised that I’d been meditating all my life.

Here’s how to meditate if you can’t bring yourself to join a group or feel silly sitting on your own with your eyes shut:

Drive your car with the radio off. Don’t use your phone, don’t distract yourself from driving with any technology such as a Sat Nav. Just drive to your destination, but drive with real purpose. Notice the milestones, signs and other traffic. If you can’t stop your mind wandering to what to buy for dinner, or did you leave the iron on…talk yourself through the driving:

“Approaching roundabout, dropping down to 2nd gear, mirror, indicating right, moving to the outside lane, braking, merging after green Volvo and taking 3rd exit”

Or something like that. Just be, here, now

Doing normal everyday stuff can be meditation if you do it with purpose and without distraction. You will learn to love driving again too.

It doesn’t have to be driving. Buddhists often talk about the meditative power of washing the dishes. Again, just wash the dishes, no radio, no TV. When idle thoughts start taking over, talk yourself through the dish washing: Water is just right temperature, just enough soap, taking this dinner plate now and using the brush to wash it clean. Stacking it in the drainer now, moving on to the bowl and cup.

Meditation can be part of almost everything you do. It is about focussing on the task in hand and not allowing yourself to go onto auto-pilot. How many times have you driven to a familiar destination and failed to register the villages and landmarks along the way? You were on auto-pilot, thinking about other things, possibly getting stressed and certainly living in the past or future.

There is only now, so be, here, now


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