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Mindfulness Meditation – Not the Art of Doing Nothing

But the art of seeing options in every moment


Writer: Jace Loi


Mindfulness Meditation - Not the Art of Doing Nothing
Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

Someone once asked, “I feel really stuck. I don’t see how one can be unstuck by sitting in meditation, or by doing nothing.”


And to that, I answer, “Most people feel stuck because they can’t see options. But do you know that to be able to see options and alternatives isn’t about reality or having a positive mindset? It’s a practice.”


In the context of modern life, the mind does get numerous opportunities to be conditioned such that it responds from the perspective of “having no choice”.


How many times do you do something out of the jaded sense of having no choice, rather than a space of desiring something better?


Think about your education, job, money, routine, and relationships. Do you do the most important things in life because there is “no choice”? If you do that enough times, then it becomes a conditioned relationship with life in general.


Mindfulness meditation is a way of changing our relationship with our experience, giving space to old patterns, see options for new ways to relate to each moment, and that can be our physical experiences, our thoughts, our feelings, and our impulses.


For example:


  • Each moment we pause when every cell in the body wants to charge ahead to fix something, we are practicing a new relationship with impulses.

  • Each moment we sit to notice how this feeling manifests as sensations in the body when the mind is screaming for us to watch Netflix instead, we are practicing a new relationship with negative feelings.

  • Each moment that we sit to sense this breath when the mind is roaring at us to do something, we are practicing a new relationship with our experiences. With life.


We are deliberately practicing options and choices. We are also practicing the ability to give space and hence create space for what is here in this moment.


Why is this helpful? Because when we feel stuck, we can’t see beyond the box. When we feel spacious, we might not see it clearly right away, but we would feel it. We would feel possibilities and openness.


Thus, it isn’t about the frivolous idea of doing nothing or learning how to be positive.

We are relearning how to begin… each moment, each intention we have, each decision we make, each step we take, with spaciousness, lightness, and an open embrace instead of forced effort, and tension.

As human beings, bestowed with our very unique minds, the ability to learn to see options is a great privilege. To not practice it, it’s a great waste. To act, to take a step is exercising the privilege of being alive.

To be aware of the step you are taking is the privilege of having a mind.

To be able to perceive a meaning for the step that you are taking is the privilege of being human.

To be able to see that the meaning is what the mind makes of it, and be neither attached nor disengaged is the privilege of having practiced and gained wisdom. So many privileges to be thankful for.

All are resources… choices you can choose to partake in this life.

No options and choices, is but a thought.

Having options and choices, is… but a practice.


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