I looked up the word “meditation” on google and within less than a second 384,000,000 results were produced. The number is so huge and so insanely absurd that I could not even begin to imagine it. 384 million results, but it had close to everything: Wikipedia entries, meditation centers close to where we live, meaning of meditation, centers offering techniques, youtube videos, all the how-tos and whys and whens, researches, activities. It also shows the enormous popularity of meditation. On closer look, people were mostly concerned about how to meditate for beginners, and the answer to this was manifold. Numerous videos gave examples and methods, it seemed as if the entire web was filled with buddhist gongs and waterfall sounds and shaman deep trance humming. Everywhere I clicked on, someone was talking softly, explaining, playing music, giving instruction, guiding a session, writing (just like me!). I also looked up synonyms of meditation and the Thesaurus said thus: introspection, reflection, rumination, self-examination, concentration, deep thought, pondering, quiet time. Other words I found associated with meditation were consciousness, awareness, focusing, tool, technique.
To add to this vast pool of information already available seems almost sacrilege and yet, since I started talking about yoga, meditation is the most natural next step. But, I don’t want to talk about techniques, for that the videos on the web are a great place to start. So here comes my two pennies’ worth. What if, I were really bold and ventured to tell you that we all meditate. Some of us do it consciously, most of us unconsciously. The next thought process might be to take away the action part, stop seeing it as something we do, but just like yoga, something we are. We are meditative. Think about every time you stop to smell a beautiful flower, a rose maybe, with its musky or citrusy perfume. About the time when you watch the wind sweep over the lake, making ripples on the surface. When you hold the hand of a loved one. When you laugh at a whatsapp joke sent by a friend. The time when you read a good book and you sigh as you close the cover over the last page. The time when you run and hear the blood pump through your body and in your ears. There are so many moments when we actually touch that realm of meditative mind. For us gardeners, this task is fairly simple. We have infused our lives with moments when we are naturally lead to a meditative state. Think about tending to the plants, sowing seeds, planting out seedling, weeding, cutting grass, dead-heading, cutting back, harvesting, putting the garden to sleep at the end of season. Singers and dancers have their meditative moments too: when they compose melodies, mixing tunes to create harmony, when they raise their voices to sing, modulating sound to produce music. Dancers that raise their arms above their heads and use the language of movement to create fleeting beauty for those who behold. Painters are equally blessed, they use their paint brush or pencil or the computer to put layers and layers of evolving images and forms and textures. Did I also mention writers, engineers, cooks, home-makers, factory workers, teachers, students, dog-walkers, care-takers, the elderly, the young, the middle-aged, man, woman, gender-neutrals?
We all are in a meditative state. The only question to ask is if we are conscious of this. Being conscious just means being in that present moment. And we all experience this regularly, through various ways. But are we really really present then? Are our thoughts wandering off? Are we thinking of the to-do list on our desk while we cut the vegetables for dinner? Are we really listening to our partner tell us about their day but actually thinking of what to get granny for Christmas? Are we taking time now to look at the sky and not fret about how and when this will all end? I know, it is all easier said than done and believe you me, I can only be really conscious only parts of the time, but with regular practice of heightened consciousness, call it meditation, call it yoga, it doesn’t really matter, there is a quality of ease that is diffused through every action taken.
The how-to videos are a good place to start. I only encourage you not to stop there, try to incorporate that quality in your actions, all the time throughout your day and night. For, we are all exuberant, meditative beings, we only need the consciousness to make our lives blossom.