How Mindless TV Is Like Meditation

Update: I do not agree with my own views in this article. They have changed over time and that’s ok (read about it here).

There is some real crap on TV today. Reality shows, movies, and soapies are great examples of TV that suck us in and keep us watching. At the end of the hour, the show ends. We haven’t learnt anything, we haven’t been challenged, and we forget the show within the hour.

But sometimes we need this mindlessness.

We are all so busy all of the time. We are working, creating, socialising, being active. All of this is so much hard work. It’s hard to have to constantly think of new things to write, or maintain relationships, or workout every day. It’s even harder to go into the office and be focused for 9 hours straight (and then still create, maintain relationships, workout…).

That’s where mindless TV comes in. It’s a form of meditation (my form of meditation). Experts say we should meditate for a certain amount of time per day, but neither you or I have time for that. I have a full-time job, a long commute, a wife, children, and a passion for writing.

I do not have time to sit in silence doing absolutely nothing.

After arriving home, dealing with the whirlwind of dinner, the children, and their bedtime routine, I can finally relax on the couch with my wife and the T.V. on. Going away from my wife to another area of the house to meditate in sombre silence is not my cup of tea.

However, some nights I don’t feel like concentrating on browsing the web or social media. I don’t feel like having a deep, meaningful conversation with my wife. And I particularly don’t feel like using my brain to concentrate on an informative documentary (although these are immensely interesting and I watch them often).

So, watching mindless T.V. is an ‘online meditation’ of sorts.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am extremely motivated. I push myself at the office, and test the boundaries of my comfort zone by writing articles such as these. I just can’t seem to find any benefit for me in meditation – without having to sacrifice some further time with my family and wife.

Meditation may work for you, it may even work extremely well. But for me and my wife, our relaxation is each other’s company, with mindless T.V. in the background.

Is there anything you do that relaxes you and tunes you out of the hectic day?

[Featured image: Stephane Betin]


Joe Kovacs April 23, 2014 Reply

I give you a lot of credit for this brave post, Terence. Most people DO get on their soapboxes about the “idiot” box amid recommendations to stay as far from it as possible. But you’re right. We all have extremely busy lives and the word “meditation” is a good way to describe occasional bouts of mindless television. We all need to check out from time to time, and doing so likely leads to greater focus and productivity when we finally do return to our jobs or our families or to doing what we love to do. Thanks again for writing about this. Regards, Joe

Cyan Dragon July 17, 2014 Reply

Nop! It isn’t… The question is, what is meditation. Meditation is not, relaxing (only). It is becoming aware of why you are stressed in the first place, why you have anxiety and that all sort of stuff. Mediation is not only sitting in stillness doing nothing… In reality nothing doesn’t exist really, but is our perception that confuses non-activity with “nothingness”. You can do meditation all day long, when you are on work, when you play with your kids, when you do love… Meditation is finding the quintessence of life, while just living it. It is to become aware of life, and dive deeper in its meaning and essence. It is to make the unconscious areas of our psyche conscious, and live a more awaken life, than a more mechanical one. Cheers.

Terence Brown July 17, 2014 Reply

I totally agree with you, Cyan Dragon, however meditation for you is different to me, which is different to the next person. We all interpret things differently. Finding the quintessence of life is a lot of work, and watching mindless T.V. is to take a break from that.

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