I have heard it spoken from spiritual masters that once you attain a certain level of enlightenment all that you do is meditation. That enlightenment is foremost about being present and that meditation is the mastering , the practice of becoming present. Meditation is liberation from thoughts that can lead one everywhere but the here and now. I have a very liberal idea about meditation and how to practice it. I don’t pretend to be an expert but I had my first inclination of the power of meditation by accident and believe others may have as well.
My first experience of meditation occurred while on stage and it was a turning point! I was fourteen years old and had spent months practicing and preparing a dance piece to be performed on this occasion. The ego had driven me to this point but once on stage it become useless. The music, the dance and the moment were all that mattered, my sense of self resolved into a connection to the moment. This feeling was baffling and magical, I explained it to my dance teacher as if I had been in the hands of God. Within the year of this experience I was introduced to yoga and meditation where I came to understand what had occurred on that stage that wonderful night. The transcendence of ego to be totally present.
Once I had an inkling of what it meant and felt like to be present I searched for other ways to be present. Thrill seeking, difficult challenges, but most importantly through other performers and artist. I saw art as a means of transcending ego and became disappointed when it was merely an expression of ego, granted this high ideal didn’t make me popular in some artistic circles. I saw it when athletes hit their stride, as they might call it, getting in the zone. And most importantly I saw it when people would do mundane tasks in which they became greatly involved. The goal is to be present without thoughts for what was or what may be. To squeeze the sweetest juice from the moment without judgement.
In my practice, Tarot and Astrology, I find that the most difficult issues surround the the mind and being present. This isn’t just a projection people tell me their thoughts are unsettling, this is why they seek my counsel. I feel redundant in my encouragement to meditate. Yet I must express that it is more common than most realize, that they already have an activity that brings them the liberation of ego, the freedom from thought it just might not be of the conventional sort. A quiet walk in nature is a good start followed by anything creative. But I can not exclude sports or playing in general. Playing with a group of people at a concert is also a great unconventional meditation. With these practices you can think and plan better leading to a more fulfilling choices.
Yes now I practice daily meditation in a more conventional sense but I also value and want others to consider other approaches to be present.