This is the third installment of the five essentials to beginning a successful meditation practice. To me, this is the most important:
Let go of expectations.
I speak with people when they start meditating and hear things like “I don’t think I’m doing it right” or “I wasn’t able to meditate like others.” Each person’s practice is exactly that: personal to him or her. Yes, there are some commonalities or things that every person should be doing during their practice, but a good part of it is unique.
When asked by others “How will I know if I’m meditating correctly,” Sarah McLean says “When you approach meditation without expectations, without trying “too hard” or attempting to control your experience, and with a sense of ease and welcome for whatever experiences arise, then you are doing it right.”
I like when McLean talks about approaching one’s meditation practice with a “sense of ease and welcome for whatever experiences arise…” This is key. Remember that the main ingredient in cultivating one’s practice is to simply create and set aside a time and place to sit. EVERYTHING else should be approached with a sense of ease and welcome for whatever emerges. Maybe this morning your 5 minutes was filled with constant thoughts. That’s ok. And maybe Tuesday morning was similar and that’s also okay. Our lives aren’t static so why should we believe that our experiences during meditation will be identical each day. The important thing is that we create and maintain the 5 minutes each day. Approach everything else with gentleness, curiosity, and acceptance to whatever arises.
I know this is difficult. We have been socialized to expect results. We spend a couple of days sitting for five minutes and become frustrated when we aren’t floating on air. Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way. Take your seat each day with curiosity, gentleness, and acceptance and see what happens.
And as always, come sit and meditate with me on Monday and Friday at Yoga Hohm.