Choosing and committing to meditation as a practice is the single most important aspect of forming a meditation experience that truly takes us deeper and begins to change our state.
If we go to the gym regularly, but sit at a machine with little or minimal weight or resistance, we will see minimal results. As in any endeavor, ‘trying’ at some point must evolve into focused, sincere and concerted effort in order to effect real change. Like any formula for changing our outer body, changing our inner state shares the similar equation of depth over time which simply means that we have to do the work.
More important than the specific meditation style is how much we are willing to work at inserting it into our life as a regular practice. Setting aside the time to meditate each day will always compete with our resistance to re-pattern our daily schedule and re-prioritize our myriad of responsibilities. But to get to the place inside where we are discovering something at a deeper level, we need to sit with some regularity and consistency. It doesn’t have to be a major life priority but it has to be substantive.
Meditation is challenging at the start. Many find being with a group and sharing the commitment can strengthen resolve and compel most of us to work deeper during the meditation. This is true in most challenging endeavors, but with something as intangible as meditation it is especially helpful and supportive. Sitting with a mediation group helps us focus and it often amplifies the energetic field we are trying to access that helps enhance our individual mediation experience.
Mediation has many positive benefits such as relaxation, stress reduction and staying more present in the moment. But its primary use throughout the ages has been as a tool to deepen our awareness of our inner life in order to develop a more tangible connection to our outer life. It is important to remember this when we sit down to practice meditation. When we consciously follow our breath and ask to open within, we are tangibly making a conscious effort to change our state of being.
It is pretty hard to grow our connection to this deep inner life by accident although it does happen. A conscious wish to grow is the primary driver of nearly all effective meditation practices. It is this wish that ignites our practice. Having this wish and building it are different; they require different efforts. A wish can bubble up from some deeper place inside, maybe catalyzed by some external event, and it is truly wonderful. But we have to build a real structure—the practice—to keep it alive and growing.
Find a place, find a group and build a practice. Hope to see some of you at the next series of meditation sessions