Meditation is a state, not a thing we do

Photo by Rob Bates on Unsplash

In modern culture, meditation has been sold as a thing we do. A ritualistic step-by-step process that leads from inner point A to an inner point B waiting just beyond said ritual.

I’ve tried this so many times. I once thought that, being a ‘spiritual person’ of course, and in affirming my ego’s label, I HAD to meditate. It was a prerequisite.

I tried zen meditation, Japa meditation, breathing meditation, moving meditation, and guided meditations of all shapes and sizes.

As excited as I was to talk about them to people at the time (spiritually humble bragging, of course), I have to say, authentically, I felt meh about them — at best.

I realize now that when I was going about it before, I was trying to meditate from a loud mind. A mind that said things like…

Jonas, dude, you have to meditate.

Hey Jonas, what kind of meditation is best for you?

Hey Jonas, check out this new guru’s way of meditating!

What’s up, you can’t find 10 minutes to do this — seriously?!

Until I started learning a different perspective on meditation.

Meditation isn’t something you have to do — it’s an innate state that we can fall back into at any time throughout our day (and often do without realizing it).

Meditation is where God lives. 
Meditation is where insight lives.
Meditation is where epiphany lives.
Meditation is where hygge lives. 
Meditation is where love lives.
Meditation is where innate wellness lives.

Instead of doing meditation, I like to think rather of living meditatively.

When the mind is quiet, meditation… is.

It’s my belief that the structured rituals of meditation are the results of a meditative moment. When our mind shows even an inkling of quiet, meditative rituals create the space for us to bask and deepen into the silence that’s already there.

If you’re like me and you put that kind of pressure on yourself to meditate, take a step back. Try living meditatively instead of scurrying to block off that twelve minutes before work to meditate.

Don’t see meditation as something that has to live separately from ‘regular’ life. Meditation is life (if you allow it to be).

Do you see how this could be so?

Whether you’re washing the dishes, playing catch, writing that fourteenth draft, or running for your life from evil invaders, meditation is a place you’re infinitely welcome to.


Jonas Ellison is a spiritual writer, teacher, practitioner, and an interfaith minister-in-training. He helps people deepen their lives through applied spirituality while documenting his journey along the way.

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