Wax On, Wax Off- a Form of Meditation I was talking with a friend today about meditation who had some good feedback. If you re-read what I wrote you’ll notice I didn’t bash meditation per se, only the “cult of the self” so common to everyday life. The health and wellness world is often focused on the self, and I think one of the great things about meditation is getting outside of the self. Ironically, hyper – focusing on the self and yourself too much could actually make us more stressed and less healthy!
If we meditate, we want to get outside of ourselves, our thoughts, our junk, our stress, our anxiety. Simply not focusing on yourself can be enough to make it worthwhile. Going through a liturgical church service with repeated prayers can have this effect, just like meditation, drawing the mind to higher things. Doing yoga and taking a certain class is not required for meditation. But you can do that if you want. Personally, my thoughts over the years have changed in regards to yoga. I think for me it is too closely associated with Hindu dogma and philosophy. I prefer stretching and breathing to yoga.
Our tradition teaches us to focus on communion, whereas some Eastern traditions like Yoga focus on Nirvana, or obliteration of the ego into a spiritual state. This is not part of the Western Christian tradition, so I was trying to make that distinction, but perhaps didn’t make it clear enough in my other post. If you don’t have any religious beliefs, and / or don’t care or want to do it, then yoga is a good form of exercise. Or if you’re concerned about that then just do stretching and breathing. There are also mindfulness exercises which are great to learn to relax and breath, and have been proven to lower anxiety. And I like the Japanese philosophy of Zen, which can really help us to develop agency. Agency would be learning new things or working with our hands to repeat certain patterns in work, exercise, or in a hobby. The famous scene from Karate Kid illustrates Zen quite well, learning to be humble, breath, and be present, which is a form of meditation.
Meditation is great but If you meditate, think outside the box, and most importantly get out of the destructive silliness that goes in all of our heads.
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