The Client-centred Blog

Why I stopped meditating

Last week I had a wonderful conversation with a friend and coach who has worked with thousands of people.

She observed that in her experience every single person always wants the same thing in the end.

Ultimately, we all want to feel clear minded, present, happy, content, and free from the burden of worry and stress.

Who doesn’t want more of this?

My path to a clearer mind

I remember becoming curious about meditation well over twenty years ago. Reading the local newspaper one day I saw that there was going to be a talk on Transcendental Meditation (TM) in town and so I went along with a friend.

I felt inspired by what I heard and in 2001 was taught TM by Jonathan Hinde. From then on, I meditated, as you do with TM, twice a day, every day.

The purpose of meditation is to experience the meditative state. This is when thoughts drop away and you experience a more silent, peaceful state of consciousness. There is extensive scientific and credible research on the many benefits of TM.

It certainly helped me.

The life transition I made as a result

I was soon very committed to my twice a day practice and I was utterly convinced that I would continue it for the rest of my life.

There were times when my meditations were so deep that I got a truly extraordinary feeling of presence, connection and peace. And there were also many times when my mind was so busy it felt like I got nothing, but Jonathan said that the regularity and consistency was the key.

About six months after I began my regular meditations I decided to sell my financial advisory practice and become a coach. Looking back, I attribute this decision to the increased clarity of mind I got through meditation.

A new understanding of the human mind

Then back in 2012 I attended a three-day seminar being given by Dr Dicken Bettinger on the inside-out understanding. On the very first morning I had an incredibly powerful insight into the nature of being present.

I cannot convey the feeling I experienced with words. What I can say is that I realised that being present is a wonderful feeling that has nothing whatsoever to do with time. That feeling lasted for weeks and weeks. It was like one long, very deep meditation.

When I got back home after those three days, I stopped the practice of meditating. It was not a decision I had to make; it just did not seem to make sense to do it anymore. I have even tried to go back to it several times and although I do occasionally meditate I have not gone back to it on a regular basis.

My new insight

The wonderful feeling of presence is what we all have when our personal, habitual thinking drops away.

Even when our thinking is at its very worst, we are only ever a thought away from complete inner peace and harmony.

I realised that I did not need to follow a practice to experience a quiet mind.

This is not to say I have a quiet mind all the time, because I don’t. But I now see that a quiet mind is a result of not doing rather than doing. The less attention I pay to my personal thinking – thoughts like worry, tension or simply over-thinking – the quicker I return to the present.

Do you want more presence, clarity, and happiness?

Most material on achieving better performance, releasing more of your potential, and being the best version of you has it back to front. It tells you to practice new behaviours or change your life circumstances in the belief that these will somehow lead to you feeling better.

Yet this will simply not work consistently enough to make it worth pursuing.

It is like furiously peddling your bicycle to try and make it slow down. No matter how hard you try it is never going to work.

Working with my clients I always help them build from the ground up. When you understand the nature of how your mind works it makes everything else in your life far more flowing and effortless.

The understanding, rather than a practice or technique, does the work for you.

P.S. Why is mental clarity the biggest game in town? Click here.


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