This is the best reason I have ever come up with for meditation.
I have never meditated. Tried it once, last year, for a few weeks. It didn’t stick.
In my book, I talked about how nearly everyone is addicted to validation.
Being validated by others. It’s an addiction far worse than any drug or alcohol or anything like that. Not to your physical health, but it’s what’s stopping you from growing up.
But even more than that, every addiction is fundamentally an addiction to stimulation.
Being stimulated, psychologically or physiologically. Could be drugs or alcohol. Could be validation by others. Could be that feeling of losing yourself on the dance floor, lights flashing, beat pounding.
Could also be Facebook and Twitter and Youtube and Email.
Previously I have talked about the idea of “default activity.” What do you do when you don’t know what to do? What do you default to?
For the vast majority of people it’s some kind of stimulation.
The thing all kinds of stimulation has in common is that it is external to yourself. Whatever is stimulating is not being generated from within you.
Being stimulated necessarily means that you are in a spectator mode (as opposed to active, player mode). It means you are in a reactive mode, where you are simply reacting to the environment around you.
You do not have any power as a spectator.
Hence, my idea here being to go back to zero.
Before picking a new “default activity” it might be a really freaking good idea to simply learn to default to nothing.
Be comfortable with doing nothing.
When you don’t know what to do, do nothing until you know.
This is the best reason I know to get in the habit of meditating every day. Namely: breaking the stimulation addiction.
Now, as you know, addictions are tough beasts. This is easier said than done.
My suggestion is to simply be aware of what’s happening. When you feel the urge to do something dumb, when distraction threatens, just watch and observe what is going on in your body as if you were a third party.
Pause... and then decide to just sit down and pay attention to your breathing for two minutes. Then see what happened to that impulse.
That’s meditation, bro.
I apologize for how this post is written. It’s clumsy. This is a difficult thought to crystallize, and I haven’t thought about it enough to really be able to express this clearly. There will likely be more about this in the future.
Writing music: Love On Top - Beyonce (She's awesome. Don't hate bro.)
Photo: Chri5topher via Flickr