The other day I met a guy who told me he is a log truck driver.
I told him that my friends and I were in town at a meditation retreat.
“I meditate every day when I drive my log truck.” he said.
“Yeah” I said. “And I bet you have a good day every day because you sure don’t want to have a bad day when you are a log truck driver.”
“You got that right.” he said.
The conversation reminded me of a talk that OSHO gave where he says, “Race car drivers meditate while driving, rock climbers meditate while climbing, people who do dangerous things, meditate. They have to pay strict attention or they will die.”
Often people think of meditation as a sort of, “checking out.” A lot of people shun and turn their noses up at the idea of “sitting and doing nothing.”
But meditation has nothing to do with checking out, or with sitting and doing nothing.
Meditation is focus. It is paying attention.
And of course, people who sit and try to meditate often find out that they have, “monkey mind.” An inability to keep their focus on one thing and in one place.
So we use a mantra, we focus on breathing, we stare at a spot on the wall, or perhaps listen to a guided meditation. And we practice holding our focus.
Whatever meditation technique you will find, and there are many, is designed to help you train yourself to hold your focus where you want it. And for as long as you want it.
Because if you have a, “monkey mind” then your thoughts are racing all over the place. If you cannot pay attention then you cannot pay attention. That is a problem.
Learning to focus your mind in meditation will inevitably leak out into your daily life. You will become a more focused person all around. You will be much more calm, and you will find that you can pay attention to people much more than before.
There are many health benefits from meditation too, but I won’t get into all that this time.
So if you are a beginner, try some different techniques until you find what works for you. Some people like to focus on their, “Third Eye” but that has never really worked for me. I do better with watching my breath. Other people do better repeating a mantra.
Don’t be alarmed if you sit down to meditate and find that you cannot hold your focus for more than a few moments. That is normal. It truly takes persistent practice.
You will be glad you did!