Is My Meditation Practice Working?
The last few days in my meditation practice, my mind has constantly been on the go, from one thought to another and yet to another. I was beginning to wonder if I was losing my meditative edge. What happened to the moments of spaciousness, to the out of body experience that felt so intimate and afar at the same time?
Then I remember, that’s not the point. It’s not whether I sit with a mind full or empty of thoughts, but rather whether I am mindful of everything that arises. Am I consciously aware of where my mind takes me? Am I holding all of this within the softness of my face, the alertness and stillness of my body? Yes, I am. And so yes, I am doing the practice regardless of how it feels or looks. When the thoughts arise, but I remain still and vigilant, I am practicing non-reactivity over and over again. When my face and palms remain soft, I practice kindness through the gesture of my body. When my spine lifts and my hips ground, I practice with stability and a sense of vividness in my experience. My mind can do anything it desires to, while I continue to allow and be. In this way, it is a practice of surrendering. Surrendering our need to manipulate our mind so that it looks the way we want it to.
It’s always good to question the methods, the teachings and it’s effects. It needs to work for you. And the only way to know is to question it every now and then, not with doubt, but with an interest to explore more deeply. For today, my questions lead me to believe that yes, this practice is working for me. It’s more than working, it’s providing immense benefit to me and slowly to those around me. So I will continue to return to my cushion and explore the virtues of this beautiful tradition.
Here is a wonderful link, written by Tara Brach, to help you remain present with what arises in your practice. She is wonderfully eloquent in her description of the practice and methods.
She also has many guided meditations that you can use in your home practice.
I hope you will find these resources helpful.