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Meditative Fine Tuning

Yesterday my sister and I had a telephone conversation and the subject of her meditation practice came up. She shared with me that she always feels as though she is "not doing it right". I remembered having those same thoughts when I first started my practice. Our inherent need for guidelines, rules and standardized outcomes gets in the way of something which, by its very nature, adheres to none of those things.

Over the years I have found that two things are important in a meditation practice: intention and showing up. The intention to meditate is important because it reverently allocates some of our life energy to the meditation practice; without deep intention any attempts to meditate will be less likely to take hold and blossom into a true practice. The only remaining requirement, then, is to show up for our meditation. Beyond that it is important, in my experience, to let go of everything else, and that applies especially to our thoughts about what meditation is or should be.

I have come to think of my practice as exactly that, practice. When we turn on a radio and search for a particular station we sometimes run across a lot of static and encounter other stations which may come in loud and clear but which are not exactly the station we are looking for. Sometimes there is something interesting playing on those other stations and we linger there for a while, listening. The frequency we are looking for in meditation is very subtle because it is absolutely silent yet incredibly full of wordless content. It is easy for us to miss, accustomed as we are to words and noise and mind stimulation. I've found the closer one gets to that subtle frequency, however, the higher the quality of the frequencies surrounding it, and the content of those close frequencies has the impetus to nudge us closer to the deep silent peace we seek. The content there is richer, qualitative. These are the frequencies in which one finds inner guidance in a familiar framework, a framework our minds can utilize. It takes a lot of practice to be able to recognize when one is getting close, it takes a lot of showing up for our meditation practice. Then, sometimes from these close frequencies, by an act of grace, one slips into the exquisite realm of silence. To me, being in that silence feels like being home in the deepest sense of the word.

Suddenly I see that my sister's very pure and humble and loving heart brings insecurity to her meditation because she reveres the concept of the spiritual practice of meditation and places it outside and above herself in terms of worth, thus the illusion that she is "not doing it right". The practice itself, however, already lives perfectly within her and is eagerly waiting to welcome her home.



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Reader Comments (2)

I so agree with your post. I have many times found myself not showing up for practice simply because I did not want to meditate incorrectly, why sit down if I can't do it perfectly. Of course forgetting that this is called a "practice" for a reason.

April 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterErling

Isn't it strange how we think we are supposed to do everything perfectly? Really holds us back, I think, from experiencing life as it is meant to be experienced.

May 2, 2009 | Registered CommenterConnie Assadi

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