L E T T E R – There Are No Shortcuts – The Broad Place

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L E T T E R – There Are No Shortcuts

I first learnt to officially meditate when I was in my late teens. It was a funny little course held by a yoga teacher and I was mystified and hooked at the same time. I found it incredibly challenging and didn’t really know what was going on, but it reminded me of when I was a child and used to sit staring out over cliffs and at the horizon, or eyes closed in hospital hallways for lengthy periods of time enjoying the feeling of being quiet inside.

I had a challenging childhood in that I was a really sickly kid, and my younger brother is disabled, so I spent a ridiculous amount of time in hospitals, either for myself or just hanging around while my brother underwent a never-ending cycle of check-ups, operations, and recovery. You get pretty bored in these places and I was becoming an incredibly fast reader and would run out of a book in a few hours and was left to sit quietly or wander the halls. I found if I closed my eyes and just sort of hovered in my mind, it felt good and the time would fly by.

So now years on, I was being taught something that felt similar but it was much harder than what I had been doing, as I was trying hard now. Cue another decade of dabbling with lots of different meditation and yoga techniques, reading fervently and studying Buddhism, Taoism, and Zen whenever I could find the time in between partying, studying and being a self-employed creative. I finally learnt Vedic Meditation when Marley was a baby, out of sheer need over anything else. I was a shattered mess at this stage, and still only in my mid-twenties. It was life-changing. The gentleness of it and the lack of trying whilst meditating was very similar to what I had been doing as a kid, without any instruction. It felt like coming home.

So whilst the technique is effortless, our commitment to getting in the chair and actually meditating is not. I have honestly searched for a hundred shortcuts. There aren’t any. We simply must meditate when it feels uncomfortable. When it feels wonderful. When we don’t want to and aren’t in the mood. We meditate also when we are craving it. The point is we meditate, and we meditate and we commit daily. Because the beauty of our lives, the fullness of being a human, the depth of our experience unfolds before us, and why would we want to take any shortcuts with that.

Sent with love,

Jac x

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