Have you ever sat down to meditate only to be confronted head on by a mind that will not quiet down?
Many emotions and judgments can come up when we witness our minds on over-drive.
While it is true that the mind has a natural ability to calm itself when we sit to meditate it doesn’t always do so.
But who ever said meditation is about having a quiet mind? This is a common misconception of what it is we are doing when we sit to meditate.
To meditate, on anything, means literally: to become familiar. To observe it with all our senses we become familiar with ourselves.
Meaning – if our mind is restless, we are not actively trying to calm it. We are observing it in whatever state it happens to be in – calm, worried, irritated, restless – however it happens to be. We may observe that we have a desire for our restless mind to be calm – we also want to just observe that desire and realize that when we are sitting to meditate there is nothing to be done in that moment.
Radical acceptance is what we are aiming for. Being more okay with just how things are for the time we are sitting in meditation.
This radical acceptance, when we practice it and become good at it, has vast positive impacts on the rest of our life.
- More resilient in stressful situations
- More calm throughout your day
- Clearer thinking and reasoning ability
- Less reactive
- Greater capacity for patience
If you have been with me a while you also know the scientific benefits of meditation. Here are just a few:
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower blood cortisol levels (stress hormones)
- Better sleep
- Better memory
And these are a direct result of the first list.
This week when you sit in meditation try to let go of the idea that you need a quiet mind and just observe it however it happens to be. Have compassion for how it is. We are all just humans, and this is just what it’s like to have a mind today.