Just me and the iron: Using weightlifting as meditation – Chicago Tribune

When I think of meditation, I picture an image of serenity – a wide-open room, a person sitting cross-legged on a mat, eyes closed and mind relaxed. Meditation, to me, conjures up peacefulness, calmness, quietness and stillness.

Which is why the sight of bulging biceps, dripping sweat and a barbell slamming to the floor doesn’t exactly fit with that picture. But looking a little closer, the practice of weightlifting actually has a lot more in common with the art of meditation than first meets the eye.

To meditate is to spend time in quiet thought, as the dictionary puts it, and while the purpose of meditation is to still the mind, that doesn’t necessarily mean stilling the body. Meditation, many people mistakenly believe, can be performed only through sitting quietly and clearing the mind of intrusive thoughts. In actuality, meditation can be as simple as focusing your mind on a single point of reference, even when intrusive thoughts insist on cropping up.

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