While many people believe is sitting cross legged with their eyes closed is the only way to experience meditation. However, you can also experience the benefits of meditation while in in any activity, especially those that requires repetitive actions or deep focus.
Meditation is a natural part of life and just like vegetables in a garden it can arise as a “volunteer” but it will ‘grow’ and bear more fruit if cultivated and patience is required before the benefits can be harvested.
In her post Beth, started out with the attitude towards meditation that is reminiscent of a sign, placed as a joke, in some gardens which says, “Grow dammit!” That was Beth’s approach, but I’ll let her tell the story…
Most people, myself included, begin meditating to become a happier person and to create a more peaceful and fulfilling life. Of course, many of us want it all NOW.
It’s Ok if meditation’s going to be difficult the first one or two times, but more than that it’s really irritating. I’m not meditating to get more frustrated and agitated. I want peacefulness.
I also wanted patience, now. I wanted to see, feel, and hear the fruits of meditation within the first few weeks. Of course, the more impatient I got, the more difficult the meditation became – and so the cycle spiraled downhill into self-anger (why can’t I do a better job?) and anger at meditation (why isn’t it working … for me?).
Yes, I heard long-term meditators say and write that change happens underneath the surface of day-to-day living. That slowly they see subtle changes until life just seems to have shifted for them. And they became happier people.
I heard them, but thought that I should be different – somehow better, faster, and less messy than others. And so, I struggled with meditation, impatient with the lack of visible and rapid progress.
Then, with time, meditation’s mystery and miracle shifted my thinking (the brain’s wiring, also). Slowly, I gained a modicum of grace and peace with my practice. I developed patience with meditations that didn’t go perfectly (as I defined it). At the same time, I gained greater acceptance with my life in general.
In fact, my definition of the “perfect” meditation evolved to every meditation is perfect as long as I just do it. I’ve become patient with the process, accepting whatever occurs. That doesn’t mean I’m pleased with the way every meditation goes. It does mean, however, that I’m open to the process, trusting that it will continue working its magic.
Whomever you are and where ever you are reading this, please know that meditation will bring untold gifts into your life, even if you’re not seeing them now. Please trust the process and let it naturally, spontaneously bring patience and magic into your life.
Beth ended with a quote that continued the gardening metaphor, by American Buddhist nun, Thubten Chodron…
When you plant seeds in the garden, you don’t dig them up every day to see if they have sprouted yet. You simply water them and clear away the weeds; you know that the seeds will grow in time. Similarly, just do your daily practice and cultivate a kind heart. Abandon impatience and instead be content creating the causes for goodness; the results will come when they’re ready.