Yesterday was my first day not meditating in ummm, ya a really long time. Which is really not a very good thing. I know lots of you are thinking "So what?" but I thought because meditation's kind of a complicated (yet so simple) thing I'd shed some light on it.
So lots of people think of meditation as this thing where you close your eyes, relax and picture yourself in a big field or on a beach. And I agree that this has some of the benefits of yoga meditation but I think this is only so beneficial, it has its limits. I'll explain.
The classic reason to meditate is to clear the mind (The chitta in the vrittis). When you think about it- all day you are thinking about the past and the future, back and forth, back and forth, until your mind is completely wound up. There is very little time when your mind sits still in the present. So we meditate to clear the mind and just be here.
They say meditation is a daily practice and I like to equate it with cleaning the gunk out of your eyes more than anything. When you wash your face you clear away all the little pieces of stuff that aren't supposed to be there anymore. Think about if you never did this for your eyes. It would get harder to see, you might get an eye infection and it would get harder and harder to open your eyes. Meditation works the same way. We go through our day collecting stuff that isn't really supposed to be a part of us and when we meditate we help separate what's ours from what's not. So that's why I'm wishing I had meditated yesterday, I wouldn't go more than 24hrs without cleaning the gunk out of my eyes. Yep, no one said all analogies had to be pretty.