As meditation grows in popularity and becomes more mainstream, so are the conversations around the quieting of one’s own never ending chattering mind. One of the great aspects of being a part of Inner North Star is working with such a wide variety of people. People come to us with diverse backgrounds, different struggles and varying goals. But around the topic of meditation, I hear two reasons for NOT meditating, fairly consistently. This newsletter will address one of these two justifications, the other will be in the next edition.
“My life is so chaotic, and I’m already late before the day begins, meditation is the last thing I have time for.” I think one of the reasons that I love this argument, is because this was mine many years ago, as well. In fact, when I first started, instead of staring at a candle (as suggested) I stared at a clock so that I wouldn’t waste a second in Zen overtime, when I had things that were actually productive to get to! It was right about that time that I listened to Deepak Chopra (one of the world’s most famous gurus in the world of meditation) say that for every minute spent in meditation, you gain an hour of productivity in your day. (I don’t think my math or memory is exactly right, as his was over decade ago, but you get the idea.) At the time I thought that was possibly the greatest bit of New Age nonsense I had ever heard. The reality is just because we don’t understand a concept, doesn’t make it wrong, inaccurate, or something that should so easily be written off. It just means we don’t have the framework or the experience to make it true for us in that moment.
Now, I am no Eckhart Tolle, I didn’t wake up from meditation on a park bench one day and find myself in some space time continuum where suddenly I had gained so much time I was back in 1982. However, what did happen over time was that life in general, and my interactions with it, became less chaotic and less stressful. I didn’t have MORE time, in the literal sense… what I had was a lot less wasted time looking for things, trying to figure out the next thing to do, and most importantly wasting time thinking about things that just didn’t matter.
So the next time you think you don’t have time to meditate, realize that’s like saying you don’t want to eat, because you are so busy thinking about how hungry your are! There is much more to this whole woo-woo hippy tree hugging way of meditation life than I am touching on here, but I hope you consider that this is really much more than gaining time. I think if you give it a try, for a while, you will find that everything you do and everyone you encounter is a better more focused and meaningful experience. And what do you have to lose, 10 – 20 minutes a day? You spend more time than that looking for stuff you can’t find. In the words of my old meditation mentor Deepak, “find the time to meditate, you will get back far more than you put in.”