How can I tell if I am "in" meditation?

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Q:

How can I tell if I am "in" meditation?

A:

Any time we are still and cultivating attention, we are in meditation. When we close our eyes and work to relax the body and focus our attention on whatever it is we choose to focus upon, we are in meditation. We’re in meditation when we get centered in the present moment, when we notice things as they are arising in the present moment. We’re in meditation when we get quiet and focus our attention on our body, without judging the sensations that are constantly coming and going.

The beauty of meditation is that it can be done in so many ways. Meditation happens when we have the intention of meditating. When we place our attention on the present moment while we’re taking a mindful walk in nature, for instance, paying attention, without judgment, to each step we take along the sidewalk and to each breath we take as we move along, we’re in meditation.

We’re in meditation when we bring our full quality of presence to a loved one – whether that’s by listening with our full attention and presence without judging the words being spoken, or whether we’re holding a baby to our hearts while rocking them gently to sleep. If we are completely aware and in the present moment, we’re in meditation. Even if we’re getting still and gazing into the eyes of a precious puppy dog, totally accepting them and loving them unconditionally, as they do for us, then we’re in meditation here, too.

You’ll know you’re in meditation when your thoughts begin to slow down and when you begin to experience the world at a slower pace. When you’re not feeling distracted or disturbed, but, instead, relaxed and peaceful in your mind, you’ll know you’re in meditation. The more you practice meditation, the more you’ll know when you’re in it. It will come naturally and you’ll want to do it more and more because it just feels so good!

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