27 Dec Why People Stop Meditating
Meditation is a word that seems to conjure up romantic notions of peace, bliss, and stillness – a state of being that can seem so far removed from the reality of the challenging demands of our daily lives.
It’s the romantic ideas around meditation that generally stop people from being able to establish a strong regular practice or even getting started. The most common being that meditation will instantly solve all your problems. The reality is that meditation is not a quick-fix happy pill, it’s not the silver bullet to instantly solve all your dilemmas. Meditation is a practice.
A ‘practice’ is defined as an activity or exercise performed repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency. In this case, meditation is a technique that’s performed daily in order to improve your life experience, reveal your truest self and empower you to confront the conditioning that is the source of all your suffering and confusion. The reality of meditation is that it is a practice that gives rise to so many different experiences. Sometimes it is extremely gratifying and sometimes it is extremely confronting and then everything in between.
It’s at the point when our meditation experiences may start to become less than gratifying, that we (consider or actually do) throw in the towel. In meditation you may experience constant thinking, agitation of the body, your mind telling you to shut up and sit still because you’re meant to be meditating not thinking about that last conversation you had or what colour to paint the room when you’re done.
Then outside of meditation during the day you may be experiencing overwhelming emotions, confusion about what you’re supposed to be doing in this life, anger or sadness for no apparent reason or loneliness that there’s no who understands what your are experiencing.
This is all part of the process. It’s these experiences, both in meditation and in daily life that are of the greatest benefit. Yes, all those thoughts, those seemingly menial or highly aggravating conversations you have with yourself in your head, the tears, the aches and the drama are all a part of a very important process. You’re healing yourself, detoxing and transitioning from some old pattern into a new one and letting go of old ideas and feelings to give rise to new experiences. This can sometimes mean some emotional and physical discomfort. In this process, the truth of your condition and who you really are, are revealed to you.
We meditate to achieve a particular eyes open experience not a particular eyes closed experience. So next time you sit down to meditate (or just think about giving it a go), remember to let go of any expectations or pre-conceived ideas you may have, and drop all preferences for a certain experience to take place.
Meditation is a practice and a process. And when the chaotic thoughts, the rising emotions, repetitive stories we tell ourselves, the voices in our head, the limiting beliefs, defeatist attitudes or the instant fix ideologies raise their ugly heads… remember that you are in a process of healing. You’re detoxing your mind and throwing out the trash. This is what we want happening. It’s a dynamic process. Without rejecting, controlling or forcing the mind to do anything it doesn’t naturally want to do, through meditation we tap into our bodies intelligent healing system and naturally begin to resolve our angst and reveal our truest self.
Through this healing process and letting go of control, we realize the nature of our Self. The powerful practice of daily meditation shows you who you are, where you’re at and gives you the ability to move swiftly into higher states of capability to manage your ever-fluctuating growth process. You’re in the process of giving rise to an authentic life governed by bliss rather than worry, love over fear, and capability – not incompetence. You’re doing real self-work, the most important work to do and you’re doing an amazing job.
The ideas we have of peace, happiness, bliss and enlightenment are actually very valid. The reason we desire them is because deep down we know that at our essence, we actually are all these things. This is what we refer to as our ‘nature’. All humans at their deepest level are infinitely self-aware, passionate, creative, kind and generous beings full of bliss. The thing that prevents us from experiencing our ‘nature’ and living life from this deeply connected place is known as our ‘condition’.
Our condition is the sum total of our life experiences – all the stresses, highs and lows, undigested past experiences, emotional reactions to arguments and belief systems of what the world is and who you are. Your condition is like a distorted lens on a cinema projector that warps the moving light and creates a false projection of reality. The beautiful thing is that meditation takes all of this into account. Without rejecting, controlling or forcing the mind to do anything it doesn’t naturally want to do, we tap into our bodies intelligent healing system and naturally begin to resolve our condition and reveal our deepest nature.
By Jonni Pollard