WHY SHOULD I MEDITATE?
This morning I am thinking about the act of meditation as I break from my morning meditations. Sometimes meditation is really just about calming the mind. That’s the surface of what meditation can be. When we crack the outer shell of our ego voices --you know, those voices that stream a running commentary in your mind about everything that’s happening around you and how you should feel about it-- we move very deeply into our bodies.
We begin to hear the stories that we have pushed aside, or pretended not to notice. When our minds get quiet, we may remember traumas that occurred to us: anything from a thoughtless catcall as we were crossing the street, to how the death of a loved one took its toll on our emotional well-being. We don’t have to remember these traumas, but as they come up, we can quite naturally let them go.
We all have masks, ways of moving in the world that allow us to “save face,” to be comfortably protected from emotional ravishment by our vigilant egos. When we meditate, calming our rolling waves of continuous thought, we open to the chance of moving deeply behind our mask, and behind our protective armor.
People often tell me, “But Dailey, I can’t meditate! It’s so hard!”
Yes, it is hard. It is hard to face vulnerable truths, to see things we may not like about ourselves or how we have been moving in the world. It is hard to tell the ego to shut up. But it doesn’t need to be. We can remove the label of toil from it, and simply think of meditation as sitting down with an old beloved friend; that beloved friend is you.
You can be kind and compassionate with yourself. Allow yourself to get quiet enough to slip into your being and see what your body wants to tell you, and listen without judgement. Listen to back aches an allow tears to come up, or desires, without castigating yourself for the experience. Just allow. Just be.
This is the very basic, very first step in what meditation is about. Everyday, sit with yourself. Get to know yourself beyond the projections and protective machinations of your ego. You can sit, stand, circumambulate, dance, run. . . there are many ways to be both mindful of your being, and to settle into the inner quiet that characterizes basic meditation. The more consistent you are, the more rewarding it becomes, just like nurturing any good relationship.
Do you meditate? I would love to hear your thoughts below about why you think it's important, and what challenges you come up against when--or if--you do! Will you share your thoughts with me?