I do not believe I would be such a committed meditator if I had not experienced a traumatic event in my life which quite literally un-wired my brain. Luckily, I already had a strong meditation practice and was able to use meditation to support and facilitate my recovery.
I now encourage others to begin a practice of meditation, no matter how small, so that when hard-times arrive <<when you least expect it!>> you too will have a meditation practice to support you.
So, do not bother with comparing or judging your meditation practice against anyone else, including yourself ;), just begin. It does not matter the where, what nor how…simply sit. With yourself. As your are. Perfectly aware…or not aware at all 😉 …just sit.
That’ll do. That’ll do.
It is important to understand that challenges arise when we begin to meditate; these are precious moments for this is how we re-wire the brain so that we are able to respond cognitively to the world, instead of with irrational habits.
The re-wiring the brain happens when we are aware of ourselves – without trying to change anything; this is the core of meditation, however, remaining aware of ourselves does not mean we must endure torture. If an experience becomes too overwhelming, it is not helpful to stay if you have lost the balance of your mind. This is the flip-side of the coin of Vipassana…equanimity.
Once we lose the balance of our mind – our equanimity – then we are no longer re-wiring the brain and it is time to pause. This is not failure. This is the moment when we make a change within by creating a success from a ‘perceived’ failure, as I spoke of in last weeks blog.
Begin again…and again…and again!
It took me years <<and i continue!>> to learn how to balance my awareness and my equanimity. When one of these – my awareness or equanimity – falters, I begin again…and again…and again!
TURN BACK, RIGHT NOW! If you want to 'feel good' all the time, please, forget about waking up. If you want to wake up, forget about 'feeling good'. If you long for the raw truth of existence, please, prepare for the shattering of your status quos. Prepare for heartbreak, the devastation of dreams. Everything you know about yourself will be smashed into a million pieces. Prepare to allow an unimaginable sorrow, the sorrow of distant universes, to move through you, to penetrate your very core. And prepare for joys so unbearable you'll wonder why your heart hasn't exploded. Prepare for love to drain your tear ducts. Prepare to fall on your knees time and time again, in awe, in horror, in gratitude, in the deepest calm. Prepare to never be prepared. If you want to 'feel good' all the time, if you want pleasure without pain, joy without sorrow, light without night, a 'feel-good' spirituality, please, I beg you: Turn back. Turn back, right now! - Jeff Foster
Following are a few questions to be thoughtful about:
- In the past, when have I committed to myself, and how/why was I successful in that commitment?
- Do I feel overwhelmed at the prospect of committing to meditating morning and evening? If so, does it lessen if I meditate longer in the less hectic time (i.e. morning – 15 min) and shorter in the busy time (i.e. evening – 5 min)?
- Do I carry the belief that 5 minutes of meditating does not matter? If yes, does this allow me to easily say “it does not matter” when I do not want to meditate?
- Do I know from experience that 5 minutes of meditating does not matter? If not, am I willing to commit to meditate for one month and learn through my own experience?