So, here’s something weird. I know a word (mindfullness) and I hear it bantered about quite a bit. Not the least by the app I’m using to practice meditation. It’s defined this way by Pyschology Today:
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.
The weird thing about it is that I’ve come to accept that I need to be more mindful — in my case, mainly because the chatter in my head is seldom constructive — and I’m working on it pretty actively.
Here’s what’s weird: I don’t know what it’s supposed to feel like. I know it’s not falling asleep (that’s what my meditation often looks like right now) and I know it’s not daydreaming. Sometimes I have luck consciously identifying thoughts and giving them labels (“That’s me worrying about tomorrow’s class.” “That’s me reliving a fight I thought was unfair.”)
Often, I neither fall asleep, nor do I hear the end of the guided meditation. In those cases, I generally find that I can’t recall what I was thinking about the way I can with ‘normal’ daydreaming. So, are those moments when my mind is turned off? Or when I’m asleep by upright?
I don’t know. This is not a post with answers.
This is a post to say that something that’s easily overlooked — that was overlooked by me, I mean — when starting on this path is this: it’s easy to point to an end goal, but the individual steps are so foreign to me, that I’m not even sure I’m doing them right. It’s like I’m trying to go to the fridge for a beer and I keep flailing my arms, because I all know is that walking involves moving my appendages. Obviously, in that case, I’m never going to get my beer and I’m afraid that, if it’s true, I’m going to say it’s because “walking doesn’t work.”
Maybe I’ll find myself growing into a meditation practice that works for me. When I do, I’ll tell you what it feels like.