i love meditating. and i hate it too.
i love it when it feels good. when i feel like i get up from my mat + have had some amazing experience. i hate it when my mind goes crazy and i can’t focus. when all i think about is my grocery list or the traffic outside, and then i start dreaming about my next trip somewhere, suddenly realizing that i am in daydream land and nowhere near the present moment. i silently scold myself, take a deep breath, focus, breathe again, and the start the whole freaking circle over.
i hate meditating when it’s like that.
and guess what? lately that is exactly how my meditation has been going.
now, i know better than to scold myself for “getting off track”, but it just feels so bad. and when my meditation time is up (or when i decide to just give up after 10 minutes of this cycle), i sometimes feel even less inspired that i did before.
but, i still do it. every damn day. and i do it because i know that, ultimately, it’s not about that euphoric feeling that i am so disappointed to not feel every day. i continue my practice because it is just that – practice. and, if life isn’t all daisies and rainbows, why would my meditation practice be?
the thing is, the process of meditation, the commitment to it, the dedication to being still for a little bit every single day, is exactly where the magic happens.
that’s right. the magic comes from the routine + the ritual. some days it feels like you’ve reached a new stage of enlightenment. and some days (or weeks) it just feels like another thing you have to suffer through.
but, i guarantee… i promise… sticking with it is what makes all of the difference. that is where the growth occurs. and, instead of chasing a high, it becomes more about being a person grounded with a sense of stability, calm, and peace. come what may.
that’s what i am learning right now. i’ve been meditating pretty regularly (like everyday-ish) for the past 2 years. and right now i am coming into a whole new understanding of my meditation practice. one, where i am just barely beginning to not give two fucks about how my meditation time feels, but instead, simply practicing it. letting it be whatever it is. letting things come and go, both during my meditation time and during my everyday life.
because that’s what meditation, for me, is all about. it’s about learning to live an intentional + grounded life. to be like a tree rooted in the ground, swaying with the breeze, staying secure during the storms, soaking up the sunshine, and surrendering to the cycle of life.
so, screw the perfect idea of being this amazing guru on a mat reaching new levels of enlightenment every day. screw the thought of having the perfectly inspired meditation experience every damn day. screw that, my friends.
mediation is simply a time to let ourselves be ourselves. to see, admit, embrace, and allow everything that comes to us just come. to surrender to the moment and know that every single moment is important. there is no goal. there is only being. and allowing. and accepting. and expanding.
there is nothing to do. no magic thing that needs to happen.
but, in doing nothing, day after day, somehow something magical does happen.
let me tell you what happened when i embraced my obvious un-perfectness yesterday.
yesterday i went to my third sat nam rasayan training class. sat nam rasayan is a specific part of kundalnin yoga. it is a healing meditation practice. it is something that is useful in any person’s life, but also really great for yoga teachers or spiritual guides/coaches (like myself) to learn in working with clients, friends, family, anyone. it is a very specific way of meditating which begins by opening up space, space big enough to allow everything to equally exist. within that space, there is acceptance, equality, allowance, it is the perfect way to learn how i can meditate and become a stable, safe, healing presence for others. (that’s it in a very short nutshell).
anyway, we started our day yesterday with a meditation my teachers called a “jump start kriya”. for me, it turned out to be about 15 minutes of hell.
with our eyes closed, we rolled our arms around one another (like old 70s dancing) for a god awful amount of time. i got frustrated because my arms got tired really fast. and then, i lost concentration constantly, which meant that my arms slapped into each other. the rest of the room was totally silent, arms rolling fast, except for the noise of one of my arms running into my other arm, causing an obvious break in the silence. at one point, i even wondered if i was rolling my left arm, or if it was stationary and my right arm was rolling around it. so i opened my eyes. i couldn’t tell. and then i literally couldn’t get started rolling again.
i was pretty sure my teachers were watching me thinking that i was a miserable failure (which of course, they weren’t). i was pissed now. unable to get a rhythm. and finally decided to roll my arms in slow motion to at least do something. mind you, i never stopped rolling my arms. i had kept it going, mistakes and all, the whole time, even though my arms were also feeling numb and throbbing with pain. let me assure you, there was nothing enlightening or even remotely good about this experience. honestly,i was freaked out. but i kept rolling (and slapping).
just then, one teacher said, “three minutes left. now, faster! push it hard to the end.”
i was literally about to scream. i was panicking, going out of my mind, -roll, roll, slap – tired, – roll, slap – angry, and -slap – piiiiiiissed. i hated it. my heart is racing just writing about it now.
and suddenly it was over. and we were told to stretch our arms (even though i couldn’t feel mine) high into the sky. over our heads. straight up. fingers stretched out and apart. and hold it. tight. tight. tight. squeeze. my arms were shaking. and then, i just burst. arms in the air, fingers spread wide apart, stretching + holding + tightening, i burst into tears. the they just exploded from my eyes and silently ran down my cheeks. and i let them come and go.
it was like a release. a cleansing. and then it was all over.
the rest of the day, i was so connected. so grounded. so free.
oh, the meditation we did sucked. i do not want to do it again. ever. (but i probably will) and my arms ache as i type on this keyboard. but, it was so worth it. i felt nothing great, inspiring, and euphoric as i rolled my damn arms for 15 minutes. but, i stuck with it. and, in the end, i understood what all of that repetition and commitment did for me.
going through the mundane act of rolling my arms in pain led me to a magical, euphoric, liberating moment of clarity and complete release. what i released i don’t know. and i don’t care. but after that, then, i could get down to the task at hand.
so, what i am saying is this:
all of life, every single moment, can be a glimpse of the sacred, the holy, the mysterious. everything from making our beds to cooking dinner to taking a walk to cleaning the toilets to rolling our freaking arms for 15 minutes in an insane meditation. somehow, daily, mundane, meditation seeps out into our lives making everything way more sacred than we ever realized that it was.
because life, every day life, is the miracle. that is the magic.
not just the mountaintop experience or the holy meditation moment. not just the amazing adventure or the breathtaking view.
meditation teaches us that every single thing is it. and every single thing, person, place, moment, feeling, and thought is what makes up the magic that we call life.
so, my friends, if i can get on the floor and mediate every day and fight through the days that i feel the furthest from guru-status, then so can you if you feel called to.
give it a whirl. and let me know how it goes. and, please, let me know if i can help in anyway. love and peace to you all.
onwards + upwards! xoxo