Mindfulness Personal Growth

What is meditation?

Written by Lissa Reidel

What is meditation? Meditation teachers define the elusive, life-changing mind state.

John Tarrant: I notice until I don’t, then I don’t notice until I do.

Suzuki Roshi: A soft readiness

Pema Chodron: Meditation gives us the opportunity to have an open, compassionate attentiveness to whatever is going on. The meditative space is like the big sky, spacious vast enough to accommodate anything that arises.

Meditation is a means of transforming the mind.

Meditation is a practice for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content.

Meditation means awareness. Whatever you do with awareness is meditation.

Meditation is the experience of interconnectedness.

Eckhart Tolle: Meditation is not something we do, rather it is simply to be, fully present and aligned with life in this moment.

Meditation is time set aside for non-doing to develop the skill of paying attention.

John Kabat Zinn: paying attention on purpose in the present moment and non-judgmentally.

Venerable S Dhammika: Meditation is a conscious effort to change how the mind works – it helps develop the awareness and the energy needed to transform ingrained mental habit patterns.

The goal of meditation isn’t to control your thoughts, it’s to stop letting them control you.

Meditation is meeting the moment as it is moment after moment after moment.

A Famous Koan: What is meditation? Well it’s not meditation. What is it then? It’s alive, it’s alive.

A poem from the Taoist tradition:

Enjoy yourself, relax.
Stop setting snares. Get delicate.
Relax and follow where that leads you.
Go find yourself a place to flop, and flop there.

About the author

Lissa Reidel

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