Nearly all people face some sort of problems when they begin with meditation practice. Some right from the start, others after some time if they stick to the practice. Most often people have reported to me that they feel physical pain or some sort of discomfort, others can’t seem to relax or be still even for a second, many say they just can’t stop thinking and some relax too much and doze off. Here I would like to write about something that applies to all of these so-called “problems”.
Meditation practice is exactly that, it’s a practice. Which means for some it will come more easily and for others, it will be more difficult. But like with all practices the worse you feel you are at it the more you need it and therefore the more benefit you will get from it if you dedicate yourself to the practice. Secondly, like with all practices, experiences during meditation will vary and that is perfectly normal. Many people get too attached to a single meditation session and then compare all others to it. That is a mistake. Like in life we have bad days and good days. But the main thing is the overall picture or changes and experiences during longer time frames.
Unfortunately, some people have wrong ideas about meditation from the very beginning. For instance, some believe that meditation is supposed to be this effortless and blissful state without any difficulties. And for some that may be the case, but for the majority, it is not. The way I see it one of the best lessons meditation has to offer is to be with our problems whichever they may be. Not trying to solve problems but acknowledging them and then relaxing into them.
Meditation in that perspective is very hard for people who have a strong need for control. Those are usually people who try meditating one time, think they are “bad” at meditation, and then conclude that it’s not for them. There is no such thing as a “bad meditator”. Meditation is by nature a complete opposite of control. It’s a state where we surrender completely to the present moment – to our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. So people who try to control all that in themselves when they are not in meditation will be very resistant to meditation practice.
Some people believe there has to be a special time for meditation. They feel they can’t meditate if they are mentally, emotionally, or physically imbalanced. But that is exactly when we get most out of the meditation practice. When we sit down and are already at peace meditation won’t have such an effect compared to if we sit down when we are disturbed. But it doesn’t really matter whether we are at peace or disturbed. An approach when we commit ourselves to practice no matter how we feel is very special. Because it takes us beyond two-sidedness and makes us centered and stable.
Adyashanti said: “True meditation is about letting go of manipulating our experience.” When we are able to achieve that quality in meditation we can also begin practicing it in our daily lives. Because that’s what really counts. The skill of a meditator is seen by the ability to connect his or her meditation practice with his or her life. Meditation masters feel no distinction because whatever they do and wherever they are they are in meditation. So we must take what is offered. Be with ourselves. Be as we are. And accept what it is and how it is. Anything we can’t control is teaching us to let go.