Questions: Meditation, Procrastination, Assertiveness.

The way we approach our meditation will reflect the way we approach life. There are so many misconceptions about what meditation is, or isn’t, and what we’re supposed to be doing, or not doing, whilst sitting with our eyes closed. So this is the place to discuss our view, our attitude and motivations - how and why we’re getting some Headspace.

Questions: Meditation, Procrastination, Assertiveness.

by MattAnstey » Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:15 pm

Hi there.

Firstly, thanks for the effort that's gone in to setting up Headspace. Meditation's quickly become an important part of the day, for me, and I really look forward to it.

Secondly, I have a concern that's come to repeat itself over the last week or so. Let me puzzle through it here. I'd be keen to hear what you think about it, and I'd be grateful of any advice.

As I said, I've come to enjoy daily meditation and the 'Headspace Journey'. In fact, I often want to devote much more time to it than the ten or fifteen minutes prescribed. The end of the session often feels like an interruption. So I often fantasize about becoming a monk (or at least spending one or two hours meditating every day.) I'm sure lots of us here do that.

This gives rise to a concern: "What a luxury, to sit around all day meditating," I think to myself. I'm sure lots of us are familiar with this voice appearing, too.

I suppose you'll agree that one of the things meditation is good for is to place some reflective distance between us and the playing and replaying of criticisms like this one. So I'm OK with it, when it happens. But I am concerned that meditation encourages me to retreat from other things - from my obligations - precisely in order to devote time to this kind of examination.

The kinds of obligations I have in mind are nothing special. For me it's my University work: essays, reading and the like. But you could generalize. In any case, for a long time I've suffered from depression, which has had a serious effect on my ability to organize my time, to make lasting commitments, to assert myself, and other things besides. I'm sure there are people part of this community who consider themselves procrastinators, for example. I'm a procrastinator.

I'm concerned that meditation (at best) has nothing to offer us depressives and procrastinators - just in so far as we struggle to do things from day to day. At worst, it may even encourage us not to.

Two responses to this come to mind. The first is that, what may be at fault here is not meditation, but the procrastinator's tendency to use meditation as a way of avoiding other things. That's a horribly circular situation to be in. How can meditation help in this case?

The second is that, perhaps it's a mistake to suppose that meditation should have something to give at all, with regards to procrastination and assertiveness. In this case, meditation does seem to exacerbate rather than to help the problems I have making decisions, organizing my time, committing to things, getting down to work, and these sorts of things.
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