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Why we cant meditate?
Why we cant meditate ?
Lucky for me my intense curiosity for other worldly dimensions kept me steadfast on my cushion. I meditated in the hopes of finding the ultimate enlightened state where all of my troubles would fall away and I would be one with the divine! I swear this is true!
Needless to say this never happened. What I did find was a way to be kind to others as well as my self, I found the path to humility, true compassion and a lifetime companion.
In my years of teaching meditation and yoga I think I have heard every excuse as to why one just can’t meditate:
“I don’t have the time”, “I can’t sit still”, “I find it boring”,
“I’m afraid to be alone with my thoughts”, “It doesn’t work for me”
“I'm too busy”, “My mind is too busy for meditation”, “I can’t sit on the floor” “I’ll start once my alter is set up, after I buy the mala beads” and so it goes.
I understand how true each of these reasons can feel, but I also know how important it is to invite the possibility of a peaceful mind into your life. I explain in my teaching that mediation is like brushing your teeth. You wouldn’t leave the house with dirty teeth, why would you leave with a cluttered mind? Meditation, in my experience, is a way to purify the thoughts by placing them one by one into the heart and loving them, so that I can learn to love all of me and as an extension all of humanity. I do this for myself, and so all those around me can experience a clean, tidy and peaceful me. Without my practice I find I am less smooth and much more prone to impulsive reactions instead of thoughtful responses. I often feel what I explain as “outside of myself” on those days I don’t sit.
When I am teaching class or on retreat one of the biggest resistances I get from my students is the story of time — there simply isn’t enough. I always reply, “Do you have 5 minutes? Cause that’s all it takes!” It is true in days gone by we would be made to sit for hours. We would often be shamed if we didn’t sit for an hour in the morning and one before bed. I will say, I'm glad I did it, but I am also not entirely certain it was necessary.
You see, ultimately, we are working to re-pattern our nervous system. In that light if you show up for yourself for 5 minutes every day you are certainly making an effect. If you can do it for 10 or 20 minutes, all the better. The longer you sit with you the more “you” will resist. It’s all that resistance we need to practice loving. Before long that resistance smooths out and you are left with acceptance and compassion– the only true ingredient for happiness
My students also tell me how busy their minds are! To that I reply, “Whose aren’t!?” A busy mind is not the issue. Meditation is not the act of clearing the mind as much as it is what you do with the thoughts. Can you notice them enough not to think them through, but instead love each and every one – both the positive and the negative? Then, by doing this, you have spent your time in a loving vibration instead of aggression and self-hatred. I can guarantee if you do that five minutes each day you will most certainly be a happier person and you will have found the beauty of self-love.
I never did get enlightened, but I feel each time I sit in meditation I am sitting in a divine vibration, a companion I could not do without!
Want to expand your meditation practice? Paula is offering meditation in NYC by donation on Wed nights at 6:15-7:15pm starting 4/10. Guided meditation followed by discussion on how to live beautifully in challenging times.
Want to go even deeper? Join Paula for her 7 day Spiritual Retreat in Costa Rica September!