Is Doing nothing considered Meditation?

I do nothing alot, but I don’t consciously perceive it as meditation. But technically, wouldn’t it be the same thing?

i don’t think meditation is doing nothing. it’s a bit more involved than that…or perhaps less involved, depending on who you talk to.

So meditiation is pretty much whatever you want it be. Thats my point. Its like a fad label you can attach to anything?

Is sitting on your ass exercise?

I mean, it burns calories.

No but eating would be exercise

Even tho it doesnt burn calories

“Doing nothing” is actually very advanced meditation. Most beginners can’t even remember to follow the meditation instructions for more than a minute or so tops.

Anything can serve as an object of meditation. It’s possible to meditate 24 hours per day in theory, and at least during all your waking hours if you don’t believe it’s possible to meditate while sleeping. If you are staring at an image of a beautiful woman, you are meditating on that image. Because of all this, it’s easy to make the enormous mistake of thinking everything you do is meditation. The fact is, most people aren’t even meditating when they’re sitting quietly on a cushion during a silent retreat thinking that they’re meditating.

Meditation is an altered state of consciousness strictly speaking. So no doing nothing aint per se. Usually you bring yourself to the point where the brain is extremely calm and is using very little energy, which in turn makes your breathing and heart rate slow and causes relaxation of the body, in such a state it is considered easier to think about deep problems without the distractions of the anxious mind or the world generally.

Meditation usually involves a focus. Doing nothing might allow for this focus. However, the art of focusing is an active one. In a mindful state, the aim is to let the activity of thought free itself from attachments and associations. So the goal is effortlessness, but it takes mental work to get there. This could also be achieved walking down the street.

i’ve had meditative experiences while doing nothing, but i’ve also had them while focusing in on a single activity, like playing an instrument or exercising.

Then again, i’m not sure having meditative experiences is the same as actually meditating. But i think meditation is more about thinking nothing than it is about doing nothing.

I cant tell if you’re being serious in this post but this is kind of what I thought.

How can you have meditative experiences if you aren’t meditating?

you cant

I’m a dedicated long-time practitioner. I’m being serious.

I think this proves that true meditation is really a subconscious process the mind uses to sort itself out and process information. It can even lead to experiences of altered consciousness and transcendence. People who are more in tune with their own natures naturally tend to do it alot more

i’d contend that you can - if you think one must actually be actively trying to meditate in order to acheive a meditative clarity, then i don’t think you really get the point of meditation.

It’s a balance. Meditation is just the cultivation of qualities that are already natural to the mind. “Mindfulness”, for instance, is the ability to maintain attention without distraction. That’s why I mentioned that when you contemplate the form of a beautiful woman, you are actually meditating, where that woman is the object of meditation (it’s considered an unvirtuous object of meditation, as it presumably is inspired by and results in lust - according to one website, “If we discover that by acquainting our mind with a particular object our mind becomes more peaceful and virtuous, this indicates that for us that object is virtuous. If the opposite happens, for us it is a non-virtuous object. Many objects are neutral and have no particular positive or negative effect on our mind.” So if you think meditation is all about the hard work of making your mind do things it doesn’t already do naturally, you’ll be heading down the wrong path. But if you think you already meditate all the time, then you won’t actually cultivate anything. “Not too tight, not too loose” is an important consideration. So Ugly’s and Xunzian’s seemingly contrary perspectives here are both completely valid.

Thats not what I said. What I said was, you cant have meditative experiences if you aren’t meditating. By definition.

ok. i take your point.

check this quote I scoped off wikipedia. This guys sounds like hes got it down.

Well, specifically meditation is akin to turning your brain off. Separating consciousness from the body. It isn’t possible to literally be doing nothing, we always have to breath, blood still flows, our organs are still functioning. Removing thought, as it exist in the physical form, that is the goal of meditation.

I would never claim to have achieved any measure of this nor would I claim that it is within the realm of possibility for any individual to.

This is, however, what meditation, seeks to achieve. So, no, you were not meditating…smart ass.

There do of course, seem to be several different interpretations of what the actual definition of meditation is and in fact several other meanings have been ascribed and established to it. The act…or rather lack of act, of meditation, is as I have described it.

I took a walk in the park last week and noticed this tree. I can’t recall ever seeing its roots as I did on this day. They were so far uprooted and extended a good more than three feet outwards all around the tree…about 7 or 8 of them. It was really something to look a!! I just stood there observing and admiring it and noticed one of the roots seemed absolutely petrified(?). I touched it, then touched it again and couldn’t decide whether it was rock or a tree root. It became quite a mystery to me. It had the shape same as the other outgrown roots but was as hard as rock. I really marveled at it. Then I managed to tear myself away and continued walking on and at some point sat and simply began to think of that tree and to ‘see’ it in my mind’s eye.

I thought of nothing else - though I was aware of everything around me. I just maintained simply and without effort those roots within my mind. Then I closed my eyes and I waited. For what? Whatever it had to speak to me - to teach me. Nature is awesome - it does speak to us…sometimes earlier and sometimes later. In a way, we are drawn into a relationship with it as I began one with that tree and its roots.

That’s what meditation is to me. :slight_smile: