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  • Writer's pictureLyndsay

On Meditation

Folks have been asking a lot recently about insights coming from meditation. So, our current session theme is focused on integration: how to do it, what is appropriate, what works, what doesn’t — what does this thing mean and what is the interpretation of that?


Thing is, meditation is what happens when you concentrate a lot.  You can’t “make” it happen — it occurs with fluid momentum of presence over time. The thoughts and questions that arise from fleeting moments of clarity are simply proof that the mind is still very much in control, and that fluid presence maybe isn’t quite as fluid as the mind might perceive it to be (that trickster mind!)..





“But, but…I had this vision, it was so important!…I’ve got to figure it out…what did it all mean!?”


“But, but…I had this insight come up! It was clearly trying to tell me something…what should I do with all of this information?! I must have a coffee and talk all about it!”


Totally.


There’s not an experienced practitioner out there who hasn’t gone through this…and some dig around in this phase for many years, wondering why they’re not getting the results they seek.


And the questions become even stronger, to the point where many folks hit the brakes and try to think their way through the insights rather than staying with the fluid momentum of presence with patience and compassion. So the “high” from the insight or clarity in that moment is nothing but fleeting, rather than fluid and continuous, because the mind took over to control and analyze, rather than to continue listening and absorbing.


And then we wonder what happened to that incredible and insightful experience, why we can’t integrate it more deeply and why we can’t experience that more.


Well, here’s the thing: we can. There's a sort of endurance for this sorta thing, ya know? That's why we practice. To keep building it.


The beautiful thing about a meditation practice is that when you do it for a while, along with breath work and asana, the body and mind find connection. This is why the Yoga Sutras suggest that we practice regularly without much interruption. In doing this, we’re either creating a mind-body connection, or we’re maintaining and building our mind-body connection.


But, when we take a break from practice for too long, we feel the symptoms of disconnect — inertia has a stronger pull when we coast too long. And then it feels like we have to start all over again to get back to those insights, those visions, that wisdom that occurs, seemingly out of nowhere.


Here’s the thing: it’s not out of nowhere, and it’s not because you sat for meditation for one day and had an amazing experience. It’s because it's your nature to seek stillness, and you’ve sat for months and years every day, not expecting anything to happen at all. Going back to beginner’s mind is necessary.


This is the value of the daily/regular practice.  This is where stop-and-go traffic meets the open road. This is where the river flows into the ocean with fluid continuity and patience. This is where the seeker finds the spaciousness of continuous joy and consistent unfolding of compassion and abundance, rather than moments of it followed by downhill spirals.


This conversation can’t be complete without touching upon the concept of spiritual bypass, which is where the rubber meets the road with healing and spirituality, and where the mind and the heart must come together to continue on the journey to true healing.


Here’s the thing: all spiritual practices are here to offer us the gift of awareness. It’s with that fluid connection to this self-awareness that we recognize the unique work that we need to do for ourselves to clear out the gunk and move more and more toward the Light.


So the next question that begs an answer: can we find what we are seeking through spiritual practices like meditation alone? The answer is, keep going, keep listening, be patient, sit/breathe/engage your body with awareness but without expectation, and the practices will continue to bring the insights to reveal to you the answers you’re seeking. Likely, there is a personal quest ahead, and these practices will bring you everything you need to bushwhack your way deeper onto your own unique journey.


You can’t rush this — it happens as it happens, you’ll know when you know — just keep going. Every day. Don’t let yourself coast. Dig deeper. Eventually what you’re seeking will seek you.


I’ll be with you every step of the way, knowing that at this point, I couldn’t stop if I tried. Maybe you can’t either ;)


With love,

Lyndsay

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