Hello my dear happiness nerds, welcome back!
Following up on my two posts on what’s special about the present moment and how it can help lead a happier life (you find them here and here) I wanted to share a little insight from my favorite meditation app. It’s called Waking Up and its creator is the US American philosopher, neuroscientist, and long-time meditator Sam Harris. He and his team recently introduced the “moment” feature, which reminds you a few times per day (or once or never if you so choose) with a short message from Sam to be mindful, grateful, kind, self-compassionate, and so on. It’s my favorite feature of the app, because I can listen to the “moment” whenever it’s convenient, I get great insights in a concise format, and I become more mindful in my everyday life. You can get the app for free and unlock all paid content for free, too, if you can’t afford it—a pretty good indicator that Sam didn’t just join the meditation hype to make some money.
Ok, enough about the app, let’s get rid of a misconception many people have about meditation:
“Meditation is the practice of breaking one’s identification with thought and allowing experience—whether pleasant or unpleasant—to simply be as it is. So, meditation is not something you’re doing, really; it’s something you’re ceasing to do. You’re ceasing to be distracted by thought. Therefore, real meditation is not a form of inwardness. It’s a form of openness. You’re simply open to the world and granting it your full attention. Right now, pick up your head, brighten your gaze, and simply look at the world as if this was the first moment of creation—because it is!”
– Sam Harris, a “moment” from the Waking Up meditation app
What he said about meditation also applies to being mindful in general; some would even say that being mindful, even if just for a second, is a form of meditation. A sentiment I can get behind and which gets rid of another common misconception about meditation: That it has to be something like sitting in the lotus position for half an hour with your eyes closed and incense sticks glimmering in the background. It can be. But it doesn’t have to.
I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the quote above. Do you agree? Did it give you a light-bulb moment like it did for me? Does it even matter?
Much love as always
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