Meditation for Thursday March 31, 2022
All of us have our ideas and hopes on how our meditation should be. It’s natural for us to prefer order over disorder, calm over anxiety, and comfort over pain. We wouldn’t practice meditation if we didn’t have some hope that it could provide relief from stress, turmoil and suffering. For those who practice with a religious motivation there’s the additional desire that meditation will enrich the spiritual journey.
Concepts and desires about what a ‘good’ meditation is are not necessarily a problem, as long as we recognize them simply as concepts and desires; they are not necessarily correct and genuine. In meditation we make the effort to allow our expectations about meditation to ‘be’, in just the same way that we allow everything else in our experience to surface and elapse. We don’t hold onto our expectations nor do you try to get rid of them.
I’m sure we’ve all experience times during meditation when we have tried to still the mind and rest in the present moment. No matter how much we try our thoughts are elsewhere. We work hard to return to the breath but our mind keeps wandering. It’s at these times that we must accept that the ‘busy’ mind is part of our experience as is our reaction to it and our disappointment about our lack of concentration. We can easily become annoyed by all the busyness and want it to go away.
If we really want it to go away so we can return to a single-pointed concentration we must accept the distractions and acknowledge them without judging. When we are present to our ‘busy’ mind, the mind that we are trying to suppress, we will actually be strengthening our meditation. Ironically we may feel a subtle relief from stress even though we were unable to calm our mind because after all, we were meditating.
Some of us find that all kinds of resistance surfaces when we try to be in the ‘now’. When this occurs it may be fruitful for us to investigate this resistance because it might reveal some deeper fears and assumptions that we have. This can be challenging but ultimately very liberating.
It’s important for us to relax and enjoy the experience of meditation even on those occasions when our mind is like a tree full of monkeys.
Now let’s meditate in the way in which we are most comfortable……
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