The essence of meditation: “Live your life, moment by moment.”

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People often mistake meditation as a religious act. It is imperative to demystify this common misconception about meditation. Meditation has got nothing to do with any God or religious entity. It is an astonishing fact that even in this modern age, the majority of us are not willing to approach meditation with an open mind. Such beliefs can act as huge roadblocks in harnessing the true benefits of this life-changing technique.

On a fundamental level, meditation is a straightforward activity that everyone of us can do anywhere and at any time. Why? Because the essence of meditation is “moment-by-moment awareness”. Yes! That’s the core idea of meditation. All those paid courses, mobile apps, and all those YouTube videos teach this essence explicitly or implicitly.

Let’s see what “moment-by-moment awareness” means. For instance, try this exercise: “when you walk, only walk”. Try consciously to be aware of those sensations under your feet, the movements of your leg muscles and the temperature of the ground below your feet. It is of utmost importance that you concentrate on the feeling and not on the thoughts passing through your mind. Reading this, some might ask, “we are already busy, why should we waste our time paying attention to all these silly things while walking? Instead, why don’t we think of something more useful such as tomorrow’s homework or meeting with the boss or something more important?” Well, if that’s what keeps you happy and brings out your best version, please go ahead and don’t waste your time reading this! Anyway, in my opinion, such people who try to do multitasking or keep themselves busy doing something without being present are the ones who are quickly getting frustrated or tensed.

Of course, there is nothing wrong to think while walking. But the key idea I am trying to express is about practicing a lifestyle where you appreciate each and every moment in your life, whether it seems good or bad. This is about watching your regular actions from a different perspective; this is about being aware at this moment, effortlessly; this is about doing only one thing at a time. I am pretty sure that if you genuinely try such simple exercises, you will definitely find such activities exceptional and joyful. You will feel things in ways you have never felt before. Over time, such practices naturally equip yourself to appreciate every instance of life. It trains you to provide undivided attention towards a task at work effortlessly. Once you realize that you can ‘meditate’ even while walking without compelling yourself to sit quietly and focusing on the breath, you have captured the essence of meditation.