A recent unscientific poll taken with my Instagram community, asked “Do you meditate regularly?”.
49% of respondents said their didn’t. And these respondents believe in and practice spirituality. Imagine how many people, who aren’t into self-help or spirituality, don’t meditate.
Yet, we’ve all heard of the benefits of meditation. From reducing stress to controlling anxiety to promoting emotional health and many more, meditation has kind of become the superfood of the self-help industry. And these benefits are real and backed by science.
So, why aren’t more people meditating? There are several reasons. Time is a big factor. So is the inability to sit still for a period of time. Some find it boring. Others can’t focus no matter what they do. Whatever the reason, if meditation is not your thing, don’t fret. Don’t feel guilty either. And definitely recognize that you’re not alone. There are alternatives to meditation.
To answer that, we first need to understand the purpose of meditation.
First Purpose of Meditation
A lot of people know the benefits of meditation, but don’t mistake the benefits with the purpose. When you only focus on the benefits you close yourself off to other opportunities that can reap similar benefits. When you understand the purpose, you open your mind to exploring other options.
So, what’s the purpose of meditation? Amazingly, the answer to this question hasn’t gone mainstream yet. But there is an answer. The purpose of meditation is twofold.
- To increase your level of awareness or consciousness
- To shift your vibrational momentum
Let’s start with the first purpose. Being aware or conscious of yourself and being able to consciously shift your mind is a unique quality, only reserved for humans (as far as we know). This gives us incredible powers.
In the context of law of attraction, when you are aware, you have the ability to focus your thoughts and you ultimately attract what you focus on.
You can literally wake up in the morning and decide consciously to find things to appreciate. Or can also consciously decide not to react to someone who is trying to anger you. Another option is to consciously decide to feel a certain way.
But like anything else, consciousness is a muscle that needs to be used and strengthened. When you meditate (at least theoretically) you are consciously deciding to shift your focus in a particular direction. Perhaps you’re focusing on your breath or a sound or your body. Whatever it is, through deliberate focus you’re strengthening your awareness muscles.
Second Purpose of Meditation
The second purpose of meditation is to shift your vibrational momentum. In non-spiritual speak, that means putting a stop to whatever feeling is overwhelming you at the time. Since this is a spiritual site, I will discuss the spiritual meaning of this.
Very quickly, at our core we’re nothing but energy vibrating at different frequencies. Not every one vibrates at the same frequency and our frequencies often shift, sometimes several times a day. Our feelings serve as an indication of our vibrational frequency. Intuitively you understand this. You’re energy level is different (i.e. you vibrate at a different frequency) when you’re happy versus sad. Think Tigger and Eeyore (from Winnie the Poo).
But not only do we vibrate at different frequencies (as indicated by how we feel), momentum can build behind a particular frequency. Intuitively you understand this as well. If you’ve been feeling sad all day, it’s very difficult to break out of that sad funk. The same goes when you’re feeling good. The better you feel, the better you feel.
This momentum exists because law of attraction keeps sending you matching thoughts and feelings to you. When you meditate, you try to stop that momentum. This happens by slowing down your mind and by deliberately shifting your focus to something else.
Alternatives to building awareness
Now, if you look at both purposes of meditation, you begin to see that meditation is the only tool you can use. There are alternatives to meditation.
In terms of of building your awareness muscles, any activity where you deliberately focus your attention is just as effective (if not more so, because it can be more fun to you).
You can journal on any number of positive subjects (things you appreciate, how your life is going to be, positive aspects of your day or life in general). Color something complicated (forcing you to concentrate) is also effective. Some people enjoy working on a puzzle or crossword or Sudoku. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous can learn a new language or new instrument.
Any of these activities will help you develop your awareness muscles. So can practicing mindfulness, if that interests you. With a little bit imagination you begin to see that several options open up to you.
Alternatives to slowing down momentum
In terms of slowing down momentum, again there are several options available. In it’s simplest form, slowing down or stopping momentum happens when you break from the norm. Literally doing anything different from what you’re doing now can slow down or stop momentum.
In fact, you stop momentum every night you lay your head down and go to sleep. That is the most effective way to stop momentum because it’s an extended break from whatever you were doing during the day.
Other ideas to slow down or stop your momentum could include going for a walk outside, exercising, trying something new (like trying a new recipe or writing a story), doing something extreme (cold shower anyone), having sex, going somewhere you’ve never been before (perhaps a new meetup) and more.
A literal break from the norm is all that’s needed.
Of course, slowing down you stopping momentum is useless if you just pick up where you left off after the break. Every time you stop or slow down momentum (i.e. upon waking up), you have to deliberately (this is where you get to use your new found awareness muscles) shift your attention to something positive.
Look for things to appreciate, or say some affirmations, or motivate yourself, or pre-plan how good your day is going to be, or remember the good parts of the day before or visualize. Deliberately shift your focus long enough to allow momentum to this time work in your favor. Often, a few minutes of focused attention is enough to get the ball rolling and then it’s smooth sailing from there.
So, as you can see, meditation is but one tool you can use to help you create the life of your dreams, but it’s not the only one. If you don’t like to meditate, consider other options. Explore what might work for you. You just might be surprised at what else can work for you.