This post is part of our series from Wanderlusters in Australia and New Zealand. Check back soon for more Dispatches from Down Under!
Meditation is a word that seems to conjure up idealistic visions of peace, bliss, and stillness—a state of being far removed from the reality of paying rent, dating/breaking up, and trying to find your passion whilst keeping your parents happy.
We have ideas of meditation that either prevent us from beginning a practice—i.e. “I could never meditate, my mind just doesn’t stop thinking”—or if we do invest in the romantic vision of stillness and bliss, when our expectations aren’t immediately met, we simply dismiss meditation as another one of those things that “didn’t work for me.”
Now I want to propose that it’s these pre-conceived ideas that meditation is meant to bring you instant peace, happiness, better health, and enlightenment—without any challenges—that end up collapsing a healthy meditation practice. Why? Because meditation is not a quick-fix happy pill, it’s not the silver bullet to instantly solve all your dilemmas, nor the magic wand to take you away to another world where you can “start afresh.”
A “practice” is 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 and reveal your truest self.
And during this daily practice of meditation—sitting with the eyes closed, de-exciting the mind, and allowing the natural innate intelligence of the body to heal and repair itself—we begin what’s known as the process of awakening.
Throwing in the towel.
It’s at the point, when our meditation sessions may start to become less than gratifying, that we (consider or actually) 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 for no apparent reason or loneliness that there’s no one sharing this awakening process with you…
You’re doing it right.
It’s these experiences, both in meditation and in daily life, that are of great 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 through to a huge upgrade. And when we allow these experiences to play out in our meditations, what we’re doing is allowing the body to naturally come back into alignment and process our life experiences.
Reposted and sponsored by 1Giant Mind.
Laura Poole is based in Melbourne, Australia teaching the simple and effortless art of Vedic meditation, and also travels to teach in Sydney, India, USA and Bali. For her, it’s all about sharing simple ‘how-to’ techniques for creating balance & harmony, and guiding people to live a radical and fierce life in flow with nature.