Experience Ease With Meditation
Meditation does not have to be a struggle. Through my own challenges with meditating, I have discovered four valuable gems of perspective that have helped me experience ease with meditation. Give them a try and see what happens.
The Four Gems:
1. Meditation is an Experience
Whatever I experience is part of meditating. Our experiences are all encompassing. During a meditation my eyes may be closed. I may be walking, talking, listening or eating. It may feel pleasant, unpleasant, neutral or empty. In fact noticing my labelling and judgment of what is pleasant or unpleasant is also part of my meditation experience (see # 2 below).
2. The Purpose of Meditating is to Be the Witness, the Observer: Cultivating Conscious Awareness
Noticing my breath, my thoughts, my discomfort or my resistance to meditating is meditating.
The shift in becoming the observer or the witness of my experience is the purpose. In doing so, I create a sense of expansiveness of who I identify myself to be. That is; The being with the name Alexia, in this body, the friend, the sister, the daughter, the naturopath, the partner etc.” By seeing and noticing I am much more than my labels, emotions, stories or constructs, I experience expansion and freedom. I create space beyond the limiting beliefs I have of myself. This space opens to a willingness to connect with my own heart and the hearts of others. Too often we live from a divisive place of “either or” instead of an inclusive place of “and.” Becoming the observer allows us to “see with new eyes” as Thich Nhat Hanh teaches.
3. Let Go of Any Expectation Before, During or After Meditating: Simply Be Curious
When I approach my mediation practice with genuine curiosity to whatever I experience, the expectation to attain something from meditating melts away. If I have the expectation that meditating will help me feel better, then when it doesn’t happen (which is sometimes the case), I have set myself up to feel disappointed. Disappointment can lead me to judging how I meditated and my ability/inability to meditate. I am back in the world of ‘positive or negative, either or" rather than the world of "and." Here’s the funny thing; by focussing my attention on what I can get from meditation or by judging my experience of meditating, I take myself out of the experience itself. Make sense?
4. Be Heart Centred Toward Yourself: Compassion, Forgiveness and Generosity of Spirit
By reminding myself to bring loving kindness towards the hidden or not so pleasant parts of me such as irritability, anger, loneliness or shame, allows me to feel whole. These little parts of me are here for a reason and like any being who is suffering, they need some attention from my own heart in order to heal. Rumi’s poem The Guest House captures this concept beautifully. The more I can open to every dimension of myself, the more I feel and experience authentic gratitude.
For me, meditation has become a portal to higher consciousness through my heart. Try to integrate these four gems into your meditation practice. I would be curious to know if and how your experience changes. Feel free to send me a quick email and let me know!