What It Feels Like to Meditate

In this post I wrote about how you’re probably thinking of meditation the wrong way. It’s less of an activity and more of an alternate way of living.

Day-to-day existence

From birth, our brains work at recognising patterns in the inputs from our senses and creating concepts to represent those patterns.

As we grow up, we get really good a this. Our brains become extremely effective at abstracting away the world we live in through concepts.

Think about when you drive a car and talk at the same time. So much of the information that is coming in through your senses is being quickly reduced down to the “necessary” allowing you to drive the car without thinking about it and still identify any anomalies (shit going wrong) in time to act upon it.

Toilet vision

The way I think of this is as if you were walking through the world with toilet paper rolls stuck over your eyes.

Because so much of the world is abstracted away, you just focus on the few little things that need your attention. The rest goes unnoticed as your brain has classified it as unnecessary information.

  • Our perception at every moment is very focused, as our brain filters out the unnecessary.
  • This is useful, for efficiency
  • However, it also means that we end up missing a lot of life.
  • Also problematically, we unconsciously decide what is necessary information.

Why people get high

When people get high, this is what happens to how they view the world.

  • You notice small details such as sunlight on leaves, the sound of rain falling, etc.
  • You are abstracting away less of reality behind “the normal”.
  • Hence, you tend to strip back many of the pattern matching programs and actually experience more of reality.

What regular meditation feels like

Now let me call out one thing first. Meditating once or twice will do very little to change how you perceive reality.

But incorporating meditation into your life can have a profound difference. I think of it like this:

  • You basically just have shorter toilet rolls over your eyes.
  • You become more present of the world around you and the one inside you.
  • Regular meditation enables you to see more and more of reality
  • Which in turn enables you to appreciate more, which in turn helps you be happier.

sebastiankade

Sebastian Kade, Founder of Sumry and Author of Living Happiness, is a software designer and full-stack engineer. He writes thought-provoking articles every now and then on sebastiankade.com

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