Chances are you are living your life largely in a dream.

Many people will say "no, I'm pretty sure I'm in reality, hippy." To which I say "well then what is a dream?"

What is a dream? A dream is world inside a person's head. Now again I ask "how much of a person's life is lived in their head?"

People build narratives within which they live their life. Worrying about work even when not at work. Going through the past thinking how it could be different. Having trouble getting over a break-up. It can take many different forms.

Have you ever found yourself having a hard time paying attention to a loved one after a long day at work? Do you daydream at work even when you're supposed to be doing something important?

Many people consider meditation as a form of escapism not so different from a structured daydreaming session. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Meditation is about becoming wholly in the world and quieting the incredible static of the undisciplined mind. It is escaping from the dream. When a person has a consistent meditation practice, they are more aware of the world around them. Perhaps more importantly, they are largely at peace with what is going on around them.

Now, this isn't a situation like the movie "The Matrix." You are indeed receiving all the inputs of the world around you, whether you're noticing them or not. However, when it comes to real life experience, what is the difference?

Please also remember that this isn't meant to stifle creativity. Many times insightful ideas will come from the ongoing hum of thoughts. Of course nobody wants to lose those.

The point is to be able to control what the mind is doing. If it's time to work, work. If it's time to spend time with loved ones, then that's what you can do. If it's time to sleep, don't toss around in bed all day. Actually be able to sleep! If it's time to be creative, then brainstorm away!

This all sounds like it should be easy, and if it is easy for you, then you are either very blessed or just have no idea what you're missing. For most people life is not so blissful. But then, if you are either of those camps, you probably won't be reading this article because it won't occur to you this should be an issue.

Is meditation escapism? No. Art can be escapism. Television can be escapism, when people have it on in the background all day because they are uncomfortable with silence. Many people live in an escaped life because they are overwhelmed with the actual condition of things. "I don't want to fully experience all that, it's too terrible" they might say.

Life is not terrible. Life can be difficult or trying sometimes and indeed much of the time, but all in all life tends to be beautiful more often than not for most of us. I dearly hope you find that the case and do not live in dreams. After all, dreams are only dreams.

Author's Bio: 

Brian Miles writes about mindfulness and meditation at his blog,