The Alternative to Thinking All the Time:
Wine tasting is nothing but a particularly specific and well-developed way in which human beings have learned to notice their present-moment experience. We can “taste” any present moment in the same way, as long as we make a point of noticing what it’s like. We can’t do it by accident though. When we’re preoccupied by worry and idle thinking, we don’t even recognize that we’re having an experience.
I like this wine tasting metaphor of meditation and experiencing the world.
When people ask me why I meditate, I often say something about reducing stress and improving mood, because those are the simplest benefits to relate. It does those things, but it might not be clear how. You can think of meditation as time set aside just for tasting the present moment, just for seeing what’s actually being offered, putting aside other projects like planning or analyzing.
It’s the 21st century, and mindfulness has entered the pop culture mainstream. Even science, as slow and careful as it is, is continually giving us reasons to investigate it for ourselves, yet the most common reason given for not bothering with it is “I don’t have time.”
Meanwhile, we lose years to aimless, ephemeral thinking. The primary experience of the adult human being continues to be rumination, with real life happening in the background.
I have a Headspace subscription but I’m not meditating habitually at the moment. And yes, my reason for not doing it is because “I don’t have time”.
My main problem with meditation is that I can’t get over the feeling of perfection. When I meditate, I always start thinking about thinking, which is perfectly normal, but it makes me really frustrated sometimes.
Maybe I should write an email to Andy Puddicombe. He usually answers them and have something smart to say about things like that.
How To Let Go