Meditation Doesn't Work for Everyone

I never get into a set schedule of meditation.  After a few days I don't try again for at least a year.  Maybe it's because it bores me.

Instead I feel more in contact with the present moment when I go for a walk or just sit outside in my backyard.  When I work on a hobby or project I feel alive. Just paying attention to where I am and the present moment helps.

My brother emailed me the link for an article about this subject.  I think the authors are trying to sell a book but the article is good.  I'm not buying the book.
Link: What mindfulness gurus won’t tell you: meditation has a dark side | Spectator Health

Some excerpts:

"There are many unanswered questions about the effects of meditation. Mindfulness, in particular, is portrayed as a universal ability to be ‘in the here and now’ — how can you not want that for yourself? Well, the bad news is that it doesn’t work for everyone.
But this isn’t necessarily bad. For one, there are many ways of ‘being present’ — meditation is just one of them. There are plenty of other activities that we can do for a sense of increased awareness and to feel ‘in the moment’ (and which may also help to reduce stress and improve mood), such as walking, swimming, talking to a friend, singing, dancing. The list is endless."
Here's a section about how meditation can be harmful for some people.  (I'm not sure if it actually happened.):
"One of the most poignant accounts came from a journalist who interviewed us. She had been on a weekend meditation retreat with a friend who had a history of suffering from depression. Coming out of the retreat, they walked together to the railway station and, unexpectedly, this friend jumped on to the rail tracks as a train was speeding by."
I'm happy if it works for other people but it just does not work for me.  Here's a quote by a spiritual leader:
Do we need to make a special effort to enjoy the blue sky?  Do we have to practice to be able to enjoy it?  No, we just enjoy it. 
Each second, each minute of our lives can be like this. Wherever we are, any time, we have the capacity to enjoy the sunshine, the presence of each other, even the sensation of our breathing. 
We don’t need to go to China to enjoy the blue sky.  We don’t have to travel into the future to enjoy our breathing.
We can be in touch with these things right now. 
~Thich Nhat Hanh

Another quote:

A child walks with its mother.
It sees an oily rainbow 
On the road, a leaf, veined 
And dappled, on the path, 
A puddle full of clouds, 
A smiling dog, a cat 
That needs to be stroked, 
A builder’s van all a-rattle, 
A gentle robin. 
What did you see? 
~Peter Gray 


  1. Sitting quietly hoping the mental floodgates withstand the tide of bad memories or the waves of apprehension over the future is my definition of meditation. Yes, projects and activities help, my bird feeders help, listening to music helps. What ever works for you, I wish you peace....

  2. __Plainly then, we clutch and thrust our own hammer, as precisely as we can; each day, another hammer.

    can sharpen tomorrow's nails
    this hammer


  3. Meditation is great for some. I haven't really tried it, so I can't say if it would work for me or not. But I do feel like I'm meditating when I'm doing photography. I become very focused and everything else just seems to fade away. I feel the same way when I'm gardening, reading a book or listening to the sounds of the outdoors.

  4. I am a daydreamer. I watch the things around me as I daydream. I am not looking to the future or reminiscing about the past. I am fully in the moment. I shut out everything that interrupts my observations. I suppose it is a sort of meditation.

  5. I don't actually do meditation, John, but I agree that doing things you enjoy takes you to a place where you are basically present in the moment doing something you love. With me it can be reading, sculpting, or writing a story. I'm not sure it's the same thing as meditation, but it's definitely worth it's salt. We do a form of yoga meditation at the end of our exercise class... where we lie on our backs and relax paying attention to our breathing. It's fine, enjoyable... I think meditation is *supposed* to bring you into a state of complete awareness (like magic moments/oneness with the universe:example being: the feeling you got the first time you saw your baby smile).


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