Meditative Mind

It’s often mentioned during mindfulness exercises that their effects are not only valid during practice but also beyond, when we’re going about our everyday lives. Let’s take meditation, for example, the aim is to take the wisdom, feelings, and inspiration that appear during meditation into the rest of your life, which is possible with a meditative mind.

Sometimes we focus on our daily responsibilities and problems, disconnecting ourselves from the present moment. And then there may be moments of enlightenment where we’re shaken and begin to feel like our life has slipped away from us, finally seeing what we’ve missed during this time. Life’s beautiful and unique as it is, with all its bitterness and sweetness. But we so often live our lives on autopilot while we’re waiting for the perfect moment, for our most comfortable, happiest, richest, healthiest state to come along before we take a more active role in our lives.

A meditative mind is a one that’s constantly coming back to the present moment like it’s home. Now, pause and remember that you’re alive and breathing right now in this very moment. There’s a tiny part of yourself who’s not waiting for a hypothetical future to come to pass, who’s living wholeheartedly in the present moment. We may not always get the life of our dreams. Sometimes bad things happen and we may not always feel happy. You know this because you’ve experienced it before. Remember, even if you’re feeling sad or regretful, you won’t feel this way forever. You’ve had good moments too. There’s joy, love, and hope in your life all around you.

Think of this moment as the point at which you stopped pursuing the future and started living in the present. Breathe in, and out, and just be, even for a moment. Remember how full of life you are. Your outlook in life is the collection of how genuinely and naturally you live each and every moment.  

What’s the Difference Between Meditating & a Meditative Mind?

Having a meditative mind means to be present, to show compassion toward yourself and others, and to observe without judgment. The practice of meditation, on the other hand, involves a dedicated time and space with limited distraction where you focus on the foundations of mindfulness.

In fact, meditating and having a meditative mind are quite interconnected. Having a practice of meditation can contribute to having a meditative mind. Let’s take physical exercise, for example. If the workout itself represents the meditation practice, how you pay attention to your physical health and move with intention throughout your daily life could symbolize having a meditative mind. We take the lessons we learn during meditation into the rest of our lives with our meditative mind.

Life itself is continuous evolution. Similarly, our mind is also constantly evolving. The mindset we have during meditation can manifest itself in other areas of life. We carry behavior patterns, memories, or mental schemas from one experience to another, from one part of our lives to another.

Your experience and what you learn from your meditation practice are often embedded within your everyday even when you’re not meditating. Say you’re struggling with boundary setting, so you do a guided meditation practice with the theme of self-love and relationships. Mauve over the next few days, you confront a situation where you let others cross your boundaries and you begin to notice that while it’s happening. That’s your meditative mind at work, more attentive and alert to what’s happening in the present moment. Our meditation practice is often the tool through which we process difficult situations, emotions, or feelings that help us move through our days with the attentiveness of that meditative mind.

What Does a Meditative Mind Look Like?

A meditative mind is alert, aware, compassionate, and accepting. A meditative mind knows that everything can and will change. It is a broad space within ourselves that holds laughter, tears, and fears all at the same time.

You’ll still experience anger and discomfort. But, with a meditative mind, you know that it’s okay and a part of the game of life. A meditative mind allows you to return again and again to the present moment.

Having a Meditative Mind When You Feel Disconnected

Sometimes we lose contact with others or even with ourselves and we begin to feel distant or disconnected. Having a meditative mind helps to anchor us, reconnecting with ourselves and others when we’re feeling far away.

Think of a moment where you’ve felt deeply alive all the way down to your bones. Maybe that looks like singing your favorite songs with the crowd at a concert, watching a sunset with your loved ones, or experiencing the clarity that comes after going through a breakup. These moments for sure are full of emotions. Maybe your hands shake, your heart races, and you feel the warmth of connection and belonging. These experiences are neither good nor bad, but rather what makes you feel alive and present in the here and now. A meditative mind can help us recognize those moments for what they are, appreciating our own human experience.

Having a Meditative Mind When You Feel Numb

We may feel numb from time to time, like we’re just going through the motions, our routines becoming repetitive and dull. We wake up, go to work or school, eat, drink, sleep, and repeat. For some of us, we may turn to certain types of behaviors to fuel our adrenaline and push dopamine into our bodies like sex, drugs, or extreme sports, just to feel more alive. The problem is that their energizing effect eventually fades. Having a meditative mind, however, can have a longer lasting effect. You’ll feel that tingling sensation of being alive even in the most ordinary situations and you won’t need an external substance or an activity to feel alive or to “find yourself”. You don’t need to call it meditation, discovering yourself in the present moment is the most basic form of living.

Having a Meditative Mind in Difficult Moments

Think of a difficult moment, maybe a stressful presentation, a conflict with your partner, a loss, or a time where you experienced deep pain. Think of how you felt in that challenging moment. We often try to escape from the reality of difficult situations because it’s hard and can feel uncomfortable. A meditative mind opens our eyes and encourages us to look the problem in the face and find ways in which to cope. Taking deep breaths and focusing on your emotions in that very moment, for example, can even impact how you remember those events later on. Allowing yourself to process these moments as they’re happening can help to lighten any adverse effects in the future.

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