Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Myth of the Bad Meditator


Meditation is not difficult. There are plenty of ways to sit so that you won't suffer pain. There is nothing cognitively difficult about it. It's so simple one might think the whole thing is a joke. Come over here, I'll show you some ways to sit. If it's not working out using the cushion, you can even sit in a chair. No biggie.

When does meditation become difficult?

It doesn't.

You, on the other hand. You might be a little difficult from time to time. I'm not pointing fingers, because I'm plenty difficult myself.

We are difficult because even when we are drawn to meditation, when we feel some tug to sit down and wash off our minds by doing some very simple awareness practice, holding hands with our pulse, ahhh the difficulty arises: "I'm a terrible meditator. My attention goes everywhere. My thinking is out of control."

Translation: I don't waaaaaannnnaaaaa!!

Sometimes it feels like going to the dentist, and sometimes it feels like soaking in a hot tub. But that isn't really the meditation - that's coming from you and me.

You aren't a statue, brother. Thinking comes. If you and I bounce a basketball around, we are playing basketball. If thinking comes while you are sitting and then you let go and start over, you are doing meditation. "Good" at it? Who cares? Are you "good" at walking? Just go.

Don't compare yourself to meditation athletes who sit naked on mountaintops and eat nothing but dandelions for five years. I hate those guys. I hate them for making you feel inadequate and discouraging your practice. Please kill them and then sit down. Meditation is for everybody. Let it be as ordinary as a hot shower.

Bad meditators are as rare as unicorns. We use them as an excuse not to sit. "This isn't for me." How could it not?

Sit next to me. Come here. We'll sit for 25 minutes. Let me see this bad meditation of yours.

1 comment:

Mandy_Fish said...

Okay, but first let me get this dandelion fuzz out of my teeth.