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Meditate Like A Monk?

God bless monks who meditate in silence for hours at a time, but theirs is not an opportunity that is afforded to all of us. Does that mean the benefits of meditation are not available to the rest of us? Of course, not.

The thing about meditation (or it's less formal cousin, meditative activity) is that we all do it-- in different ways, at different times and different places. We just don't think of it as meditation, or meditative because that's something that only monks do, right?

Wrong! Let's start with meditative activity-- we've all had the experience of being "in the zone" for some period of time, while exercising. The flowers smell sweeter, the sound of leaves rustling in the trees is more soothing, and the light strikes us as mystical. Physical fitness can be an unexpected gateway to a greater awareness.

In many respects, it's the same thing when we work on-- or, workout-- our mental/emotional fitness. That's what meditation really is: Working out the mind, with the same degree of dedication and concentration that we work out the body.

Sure, the methods by which we pursue physical fitness and mental/emotional fitness are different, but the basic goal remains constant-- a healthy mind (like a healthy body) allows us to feel good about ourselves. And I don't know about you, but I prefer to feel good about myself-- it sure beats the alternative!

The kind of awareness that we can experience through meditation is also different than the awareness that can come with meditative activity-- as a matter of fact, I'll go out on a limb, and posit that the level of awareness achieved by a monk, is different than the level of awareness you, or I, experience. But that's a topic for another post.

All that aside, meditative activity can be a tremendous warm-up for meditation-- and meditation is a wonderful cool-down for meditative activity-- together, they're a great two-fer.

The point is: We don't have to meditate like a monk, in order to realize the benefits of meditation. A couple minutes here, and a couple minutes there-- maybe, a couple minutes at the end of a physical workout-- can do wonders for our mental/emotional health.

Not to sound too much like our ex-president but, what have you got to lose? Give yourself a little love-- make time for a little, "me time". You'll be pleasantly surprised, and glad you did!



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