Knitting as meditation

One of the big things I have focused on this year is doing more offline things. As a result I have rediscovered knitting. Whilst this has helped in logging me off its also had an unexpected benefit. I’ve found that by knitting a little at night my brain churns through things and unclogs itself.

I’ve always been convinced where my brain is concerned it is a case of letting me in on the thinking somewhere near the end, than an active thinker. I tend to get stuff swirling around brain and after it does the rounds of my neurons, at some undetermined point it pops up with an actionable. This has its benefits and drawbacks. I tend to most of the time be in a 70% pondering state. Doesn’t help focus and adds to my already natural state of permadistraction.

I’ve experimented with meditation. The most I’ve ever managed to keep up is tied to my yoga practice. I find sitting still akin to torture. Hatha yoga is about as passive as my brain can handle. I’m that fidgety kid at heart, not doing makes me almost have to distract myself even with an itch.

My brain I have come to learn over the years doesn’t like to be rushed. It isn’t fond of on the stop thinking, nor a fan of rapid fire questions. Words and me aren’t always friends when time is poor. As a result my thinking times tend to be on the dawdling side. I’ll get there but be a while before anything worth sharing brews.

For me finding a way of depondering my brain and getting those thoughts out in a timely manner is a great benefit. I don’t want to force myself or rush the process though, that never ends well for me. I’ve discovered for me, knitting is oddly a perfect meditation tool.

When I knit my mind whirls into action. I get wave upon wave of thoughts and this ebbs and flows as things come into focus. Often after knitting I will find I write notes, enter to do tasks or in one shot write a blog post like this.

Perhaps it comes down to both the logging off and the action. This may be why sitting still meditation and me never were a good fit. A few years ago I started using beads on my wrist to calm myself in groups. It works really well, but as a side effect helps me muster my brain a bit in the difficult one on one quick fire times. Knitting is a little like that, I’m doing something so my brain is able to free wheel.

Whatever the reason though, I’m enjoying the ability to sort my thoughts out each day. I’m finding it increases my productivity too. A clogged distracted brain is not so useful. In conjunction with the nightly task list dumping I do, I’m getting more out there than stuck in my head.

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