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“I don’t meditate because I’m not patient enough”

Some paraphrase of this quote has been uttered by many friends, clients, and even myself at some point during the past several years. It seems wasteful to try something when we recognize that it might work for OTHERS but, not definitely not for US. Why take the time to do something uncomfortable, when there are so many MORE IMPORTANT things that need to get done.

I think some of us don’t have a clear understanding of meditation, but we have a “feeling” about what it means, and it doesn’t seem like it would be helpful. Alternatively, some of us have tried it and found it to be difficult and without apparent reward. So what is meditation anyways?

Meditation is a very broad term for a practice of creating stillness within oneself for some benefit. Some people practice meditation for spiritual enlightenment, some for mental clarity, some in order to generate more compassion for others, and others for stress relief. There are many other reasons that people use meditation in there lives.

There are also different methods used when meditating. One method is to concentrate one’s mind on a single aspect of themselves (e.g. their breath) or a single object. Another method is to use their awareness to gently bring themselves out of their heads and into what is happening in the present moment.

Now that meditation has been defined (in extremely simplified terms), why is it important? Well…let’s check in with you really quick. While you are reading this article, are you having any other thoughts? Ruminating about the past? Worrying about some event in the future? If not, good job! You are focused on the present moment and you are in some sense of the word, practicing meditation. If you are thinking of the past or future instead, welcome to the human condition. Most of us live outside of the present a lot of our time, and we are not even aware of it. So meditation is important because it brings us to the present moment and strengthens our ongoing ability to come back to the present moment. When we are in the present, we are not holding on to that person who cut us off on I-85 this morning. We are not worrying about that big presentation next week. Imagine a life without all of those thoughts. How peaceful would THAT be?

So, I think about that quote “I don’t meditate because I’m not patient enough.” Well, wouldn’t it be nice to create more patience in our lives? Try meditation!

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