There are lots of things that are meditative. They put you into a similar mental state as meditation at the shallow end. That means they go toward meditation, but they’re not an actual meditation.
It can prepare you for meditation, because it gets you calm, focused, being mindful, and allows you to rest. Once you’ve done your meditative warm-up, you’re in a really excellent state to meditate.
Sitting, lying, or standing still and completely focused (as best you can) on your meditation practice is called formal meditation.
Of course, when you are in formal meditation, your mind may drift off. You may get completely distracted. But your intention is to stay present with your meditation.
By the way, there’s no limit to how long or short your meditation must be to label it formal.
We limit meditation to an activity of the mind. Otherwise, it should be called something else.
When you are doing other things, you can partially use the mind-technologies. This is called informal practice, but it is not strictly meditation. The word informal (in this context) means it is not a real meditation practice.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish