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What is active meditation?

Brooke Randolph
Marriage & Family Therapy
If you are chronically multi-tasking, if your mind jumps from topic to topic, or if your to-do list is never-ending, you will probably find the stereotype of meditation pretty difficult. If you sit with your legs crossed and your eyes closed, you're either going to fall asleep or make a shopping list, draft a blog, and practice a conversation with your child all in under ten minutes, right?

If that sounds familiar, active meditation might work for you. Like all things, learning to focus your mind takes practice (practice, practice). Focusing on nothing is much more difficult than focusing on one thing. We have to start with getting our minds to focus on one thing for a short amount of time before we try to get it to focus on one thing for a longer period of time.

Over time, I have learned to focus on simply observing my thoughts without getting caught up in the stream of consciousness, but only for a short period of time. Maybe someday I will learn to focus on nothing. I share this only to say that meditation is tough work. It's no wonder that so many people give up after trying only a few times.

Active meditation, on the other hand, gives you something specific on which to focus, something you can experience with your sense in real time. Active meditation is simply focusing your mind on the activity that you are performing right now and not thinking about anything else. For example, right now I can focus on the movement of my fingers, their speed, and how the keys feel as I push each one. In turn, I cannot meditate while typing this article because my mind is split, also considering the words I write and what next thought I want to share.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.