Meditation is both a specific thing and an all purpose term used to describe the act of training your mind in a particular way. Its something that an incredible number of people practice in an equally incredible number of ways. There are definite advantages to doing it regularly and you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who says that there is something wrong with it (although there are some groups in the world that would only look upon that statement as a challenge).
It is also something that I need to discipline myself and get back into the habit of doing.
Ever since I finished house sitting a while back I haven’t meditated once and if I’m honest with myself and you, I hadn’t been meditating for a while even before I was house sitting. It was just something that I stopped doing. I couldn’t even say why I stopped meditating, I just did. Certainly, there were some external factors that definitely contributed to my cessation of meditation. It got to a point in winter where it was simply too windy for me to meditate outside and now that it is spring the sun doesn’t set here till about eight in the evening. Now, yes, you could quite readily ask “Well, what is stopping you from going sometime else during the day or going somewhere else other than the beach?” Honestly there is nothing stopping me. I know that I really should be going out and finding somewhere to meditate, but I’m just… not. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have reasons why I don’t want to do it, after all meditating tends to be very introspective and ‘I get enough of that in my day job’. To coin a phrase.
The simple fact of the matter is that meditation does for your mind, and in the context of Pagan and Heathen practices and praxis, what weight lifting or aerobics do for your body. You aren’t training or working on any particular skill, but you are developing everything else so that when you go to do this or that skill to practice, you are able to practice better and for longer. Much like weight lifting, you don’t HAVE to do it. Some people are just naturally more able to get into the proper state for Pagan and Heathen practices without having to meditate regularly. Other people, and I’d probably put myself in this group, need to meditate regularly because there are attributes that need to be developed for other things and meditation is a good way to develop them. I forget where I heard it but there is a saying that goes: If you can’t find a minute for meditation then you need to find an hour. Certainly I love the sentiment and the message, however much I might have trouble actually putting it into practice, and its definitely something that everyone should keep in mind across all aspects of their Praxis.