Meditation is not the antithesis of action, it is the basis of action

Some people consider meditation to be a scandalous waste of time. They question dedicated meditators: “How can you waste so much time doing nothing? If you used that time for something practical, you could do so many things.”

Their objection rests on a presumption: that meditation is the antithesis of action, that it takes us away from productive work. However, the productivity of our work depends not just on how long we work but also on how well we work – that is, how we undistractedly focus on the things that matter the most.

When we meditate, though we appear to be doing nothing, we are doing something vital: we are reminding ourselves of life’s most important things; we are reconnecting ourselves with the values and purposes that are sacred to us; we are reorienting ourselves so that we can stay focused on those things during the rest of our life. While meditation is always helpful in separating the important from the urgent, it is especially powerful in today’s digital world with hundreds of apparently urgent distractions.

Among the many different types of meditations, the most empowering meditation is that which connects us with the most empowering reality: the all-attractive supreme, Krishna. Gita wisdom stresses that he is the being of supreme value who underlies everything of value; staying connected with him helps us do things of enduring value. The Bhagavad-gita (08.07) asks us to meditate on Krishna internally while discharging our responsibilities externally. Even those who retreat from the world to a mountain cave for practicing inactive meditation need to eventually come to the level of meditating on Krishna (06.47).

When we thus make meditation the basis of our action, it empowers us to connect with our deepest values and to choose actions that create maximum value.

Think it over:

  • While meditating, how are we doing something vital?
  • Which meditation is the most empowering?
  • How is meditation the basis of action?

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