As a follow on from the last Letter, I thought it would be helpful to return to our intentions behind our actions. I had a student I am privately mentoring say they had gotten bored with their practice as the 20 minute sitting wasn’t feeling satisfying. We spoke about why they were meditating in the first place. Quickly and clearly they named all the benefits they experience from sitting for 20 minutes once to twice daily each day – more clarity, feeling peaceful, calmer with the kids, more focussed at work, sleeping better. They also firmly said that lockdown in the UK would have been VERY different for them had they not been meditating, and in truth it saved their sanity.
I reminded them not to be concerned with the actual time in which you meditate, and remember the output of the practice, the being in the world part, is why we are doing it. It’s not about having a delightful or satisfying meditation sitting, it’s about all the good stuff that happens because we meditated. So that when shit hits the fan, we have a level of stability within us to tap into.
I had another chat with a student who recently learned and asked, will this mean bad things will stop happening in my life? It was sweet and innocent, and I remember thinking the same thing when I learnt – secretly relishing ‘NOW I have the magic ingredient!’. It’s not like that though is it. We can’t meditate, do yoga, eat well, and no longer experience challenges in our life. It’s just a big part of a puzzle, a piece that makes all the other pieces fit better. Its the stuff that makes us able to cope and thrive through the challenges.
So if you’re feeling stuck whilst taking care of yourself, sick and tired of doing it, remember the WHY behind it all.