Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Meditation practice: Describe your meditation practice and what you have learned about yourself through this practice. Of the possible Distractions and Obstacles that hinder the aspirant’s practice of Yoga, which of these challenges do you find most resonates with you and why?

My feelings about meditation are very similar to common sentiment of going to the dentist. I dread it, avoid it, resist it. But doesn’t it feel good to roll your tongue over those smooth, freshly cleaned teeth? Experienced mediators crave meditation; they talk of feelings of deep inner peace it gives them, of nirvana and spiritual ecstasy. I definitely don’t crave meditation yet, but I have an idea of this peaceful feeling. I obtain the feeling about 20% of the time when I meditate. The other 80% of the time I am frustrated, scattered, annoyed. But the chance of the entering into that mental state, where my mind stops churning like a windmill on the prairies, where my body is filled with warmth all the way to my finger tips and toes, where my mind and body both become so still that I can float above them observing from a distance. This is why I am not going to give up on meditation. And the fact that it’s so hard, that I resist it so much is exactly why I need it.
For me it’s still about the end results, going back to the dentist metaphor here, it’s about that clean feeling afterwards. Most of the during is quite uncomfortable, but I do notice a difference in how I feel afterwards. Its like my metatarsals have sprouted roots into some deep warm earth, and my whole body feels giving, heavy and soft. Eventually, I want it all to feel blissful, not just at the end, not just sometimes. Probably unrealistic, and boy to I have a long way to go. We are working with some ADHD here you know.
Many of the common hindrances to meditation are affecting me. My meditation schedule is not very regular because I have a different school schedule each day. This will improve next semester however, when I have no morning classes (So I can always do meditation and yoga as part of my morning routine). I also don’t have a special room to practice in away from noise from the kitchen and living room. These are more obvious hindrances. On a subtler level I am dealing with hindrances of doubt, the desire to talk too much, laziness and aversion from unpleasant feelings (Dvesha).
What I’m learning in meditation is patience, something that the society I live in doesn’t facilitate very nicely. I’m learning that I have weaknesses, that I have anxiety, that I’m not that totally zen yoga teacher that I’d like to project an image of. But I am me, and me now has come a long way since the days in high school when I was on Ritalin and antidepressants. I’ll stick with it (meditation) and I’ll try to spend less time resisting and more time doing, because how much further I have to go is far, inside.

1 comment:

Aaron Hoopes said...

Meditation is simply about creating some space between your thoughts. There is too much stimulus in our daily lives and putting some space between all of the racket is very beneficial for our peace of mind. It doesn't have to be something you dread. Just take a little time to breathe and settle your thoughts and you'll feel wonderful!