Is zoning out the same as meditating?

Just curious.

No. You do let your mind go at times, but mostly it’s controlling your thoughts, focusing your mind. If you’re curious, read an article about it or try an app with a free trial.

If it is, I am some kind of meditation master. :)

Ooooooooooommmmmmmmmy god how long have I been sitting here staring off into space?

No, I will zone out sometimes. But I don’t meditate.

Meditation is typically associated with mindfulness and being in the moment… Zoning out is kind of the opposite of that, isn’t it? Thinking a lot to the exclusion of being aware and mindful.

I think if you’re truly zoned-out (not thinking, merely being) it is analogous to zazen meditation as you are effectively denying your sense of self and individuality, experiencing the world divorced from your actions upon it.


There are different kinds of meditation. Mindful meditation is the one you are describing, and it’s among the most popular. But others do not try to increase mindfulness. For instance, transcendental meditation involves repeating a particular word over and over to yourself, with your eyes closed. Guided meditation may involve imagining peaceful settings. And so on.

Respectfully I would argue this is very much in keeping with being in the moment and dicarding outside thoughts. This is an effect of a mantra.

I disagree. In fact the transcendental meditation practitioners I’ve spoken to have a very low opinion of mindful meditation. In mindful meditation, you are mindful and aware of your immediate surroundings and you tune out inner experiences. In guided meditation, you tune out the outside world. In transcendental meditation, you explicitly seek an inner experience.

But in either case, you’re focusing your mind on something, not letting it wander. I guess when I think of “zoning out” I think of daydreaming. Letting your mind wander aimlessly without much thought.

I guess we should define zoning out. :)


Staring blankly at the wall :)

Get out of my head! :)

It’s really not possible to think about nothing is it? You’re brain is still going to think about something, even if it’s just “that wall, I’m looking at it.”

I have attempted to do various kinds of mediation through Headspace (popular app) and they all are about thinking about something, whether it be your breathing or a peaceful place. In all cases you are trying to not let your mind wander while you actively think about something.

I hope I’m not thread shitting. But thinking about nothing is possible. Pure white light and peace is possible. But not without a serious cost.

A good shot of heroin has done this for me in the distant past. Paging @TimElhajj. Am I wrong?

Not suggested at all. Do not try this at home or anywhere else. Trust me.

I zone out by usually thinking of something, almost subconciously (sp), for just a short period. The wife or daughter will be repeating a question or statement to me and will have never heard the first one. It is not a chosen action, it just happens. And no, it’s not senility. :)

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I hear it but my processing time lags. Also I keep my mouth shut and reply in my head but not aloud. I don’t know if this is Aspergy because a friend on the spectrum does this a LOT.

Sometimes my mind blanks and I lose a few minutes to the empty air. It could be caused by my medication though. Or senility.

I don’t see it as beneficial however.